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Starting again

TonyS

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Jan 18, 2016
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I have 30 year old kit and finally my Mission Cyrus Amp has given up the ghost. Thinking of the Cambridge CX A 60 amp and Tannoy Revolution XT 6F or Q-Accoustics Concept 40 - but not keen on how the Concept 40's look. Room is 4m x 4m approx. Plan to buy the amp first and then audition speakers when I have the cash to go further. Question on the Amp- is it worth paying extra for the CX A 80?? Speakers- any other suggestions- maybe stand mounted??
 

Al ears

Moderator
TonyS said:
I have 30 year old kit and finally my Mission Cyrus Amp has given up the ghost. Thinking of the Cambridge CX A 60 amp and Tannoy Revolution XT 6F or Q-Accoustics Concept 40 - but not keen on how the Concept 40's look. Room is 4m x 4m approx. Plan to buy the amp first and then audition speakers when I have the cash to go further. Question on the Amp- is it worth paying extra for the CX A 80?? Speakers- any other suggestions- maybe stand mounted??
Welcome to the forum.

The Tannoy XT6's are good but speakers are a very personal things, try to audition as many as you can within your budget. Try some standmounters like the focal aria 906 (also sold by Richer Sounds) you might prefer them in that room size.
 

TonyS

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Jan 18, 2016
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Thanks- wil take a look around when I ce to buy speakers. Any thoughts on the Cambridge amp? Does the extra power from the 80 justify the cost over the 60?
 

Leeps

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Dec 10, 2012
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My understanding is that the CXA80 is quite a step up inside from the CXA60. It's not just the power, but has more of its design in common with its bigger brother the 851A.

However, the DAC remains the same as the CXA60, so it might depend on how good your sources are and whether you need to use its internal DAC or are using the analogue inputs which might potentially produce better results.

But as always with any amp/speaker combo, apart from your system's interface with the room, this is the most important part of your system in terms of synergy and if you get it right can reward you with more than the sum of its individual parts, so the usual advice to demo demo demo applies.
 

Al ears

Moderator
TonyS said:
Thanks- wil take a look around when I ce to buy speakers. Any thoughts on the Cambridge amp? Does the extra power from the 80 justify the cost over the 60?
Personally I wouldn't think you'll need to spend that sort of money for a power upgrade. That price would take you into Creek Evolution 50A bracket.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
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Hey. First of all, try to audition before you buy - your ears should be the ones to chose for you, not reviews :)

My living room is also 4x4, and I used to have floorstanders in it. The bass would overpower the room, so if you don't plan on investing in propper bass traps (that are usually ugly as well - well not necessarrily ugly, but take up a lot of space) then you should stick to standmounts - cheaper too :)

My favourite standmounts at the time being are Focal Aria 906 and Wharfedale Jade 3 (pretty big standmounts). I haven't listened to the latest XTZ 99.25 speakers (with upgraded tweeters instead of the ribbon ones), but those could be worth a try as well.

My previous setup was Arcam A19 + Focal Aria 906. It sounds great. Also auditioned the Creek, but it was not my cup of tea - a bit too unrefined for me. If you need DAC functionality, add an Arcam irDac to the setup. Or, if you want streaming and cd player, Arcam CDS27. If you only require a CD player, look at Marantz CD6005 - it's the best cd player for the budget and more, and also has a USB slot for USB sticks and such should you need that.

If you want an all in one sollution, Naim Unitiqute 2 is unbeatable in functionality and sound quality for the price imo. This also goes great with the Focals and can be upgraded with Nap100 for even more awesomeness (it's my current setup).

The Wharfedale Jade 3 speakers, though a bit ugly and big, are better - well I like them more then the Focals. They're warmer and make a bigger soundstage. But they require more juice. They sounded way better when I bi-amped them with my setup then when being run by the 50w/ch Nap100. I would look at a Hegel H80 for these Wharfedales - and it also has a good dac.

If you only require an amp, you could also look at Naim Nait 5si + Dynaudio DM2/7 or find a second hand Naim Nait XS2 and pair it with the Wharfedale Jade 3.
 

TonyS

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Jan 18, 2016
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Thanks to all. Demo's are the way forward- problem is I live in Germany, out in the sticks, and it's not so straight forward to get to a HI-Fi shop- hence relying on reviews a little bit. Also buying the amp first ( will use my 30 year old B&W stand mounts to begin with. Then I can audition Speakers when I am next in England.

On another track- any news on WHF turning back into a HiFi magazine with a decent buyers guide? If not will cancel my subscription- any recommendations for a decent replacement?
 

Leeps

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Dec 10, 2012
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rainsoothe said:
My previous setup was Arcam A19 + Focal Aria 906. ...

If you want an all in one sollution, Naim Unitiqute 2 is unbeatable in functionality and sound quality for the price imo. This also goes great
Hi Rainsoothe

interested to know your experience comparing the Arcam and the 'Qute. Both are on my short-list for the future. I have some Ruark Epilogue II standmounts I want an amp for at some point. My main music source is Tidal which is why the Naim appeals. If I went for the Arcam I'd need a separate streamer like the Bluesound Node. The other consideration is that I want a reasonably high-quality headphone output.

I have heard the 'Qute with some Focal headphones and was impressed. But I wasn't sure whether it had the grunt to control the bass of my Ruarks. Flabby bass is one of my main pet-hates with any system and I tend to notice this very quickly, so that and timing were among my concerns.

The other amp I've thought about is the new Marantz HD-AMP1, which has the high quality headphone out and the DAC, but I'd need to add the streamer as my source which would bring it up to the price of the Unitiqute anyway.
 

Al ears

Moderator
TonyS said:
Thanks to all. Demo's are the way forward- problem is I live in Germany, out in the sticks, and it's not so straight forward to get to a HI-Fi shop- hence relying on reviews a little bit. Also buying the amp first ( will use my 30 year old B&W stand mounts to begin with. Then I can audition Speakers when I am next in England.

On another track- any news on WHF turning back into a HiFi magazine with a decent buyers guide? If not will cancel my subscription- any recommendations for a decent replacement?
HiFi World or Hifi Choice are more specifically hifi orientated, as is HiFi News.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
356
136
19,070
Leeps said:
rainsoothe said:
My previous setup was Arcam A19 + Focal Aria 906. ...

If you want an all in one sollution, Naim Unitiqute 2 is unbeatable in functionality and sound quality for the price imo. This also goes great
Hi Rainsoothe

interested to know your experience comparing the Arcam and the 'Qute. Both are on my short-list for the future. I have some Ruark Epilogue II standmounts I want an amp for at some point. My main music source is Tidal which is why the Naim appeals. If I went for the Arcam I'd need a separate streamer like the Bluesound Node. The other consideration is that I want a reasonably high-quality headphone output.

I have heard the 'Qute with some Focal headphones and was impressed. But I wasn't sure whether it had the grunt to control the bass of my Ruarks. Flabby bass is one of my main pet-hates with any system and I tend to notice this very quickly, so that and timing were among my concerns.

The other amp I've thought about is the new Marantz HD-AMP1, which has the high quality headphone out and the DAC, but I'd need to add the streamer as my source which would bring it up to the price of the Unitiqute anyway.
Hey. Well, ideally you'll be able to hear the stuff for yourself. The Marantz looks like a great product, actually, and I'm thinking of auditioning one just for the fun of it.

As for the Arcam, its bass can be ever so slightly tubby sometimes (material matters a lot), but again, you need to check that for yourself. It doesn't happen in an acoustically treated room, but in normal living rooms it can be a problem (and my room is very problematic, because it's square). It's not muddy or anything, and it does the rhythm thing very good, but sometimes it can be a bit tubby. Naim don't have that problem, and I find Naim's rhythmical abilities awesome. On the other hand, the Arcam seemed to have a... "bigger" sound then the plain UQ2. The UQ2 soundstage is wide as well, but not as tall and deep. And... well, big! :p The Nap100 corrects that.

Also, using Naim Nac A5 speaker cable on the Naim + Focal combo din't sound right - my dealer actually used NacA5 on an Arcam setup instead. I wanted to try it anyway, and they were right. They used Chord Rumour 2, and it sounded great, but when I tried it at home I would get bass modes (resonances) in the room. Using DNM Reson now, and I'm not thinking about changing anything till, maybe, I get enough money to afford Nac N172 + Nap155XS. But that might be overkill.

Looking around on the web, I found that your Ruarks have a warm-ish sound, so I would defenitely consider Naim and also Audiolab or Exposure. Also, Naim Nait 5si might not be a bad idea for the 87db sensitivity Ruarks.
 

Leeps

New member
Dec 10, 2012
219
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rainsoothe said:
Leeps said:
rainsoothe said:
My previous setup was Arcam A19 + Focal Aria 906. ...

If you want an all in one sollution, Naim Unitiqute 2 is unbeatable in functionality and sound quality for the price imo. This also goes great
Hi Rainsoothe

interested to know your experience comparing the Arcam and the 'Qute. Both are on my short-list for the future. I have some Ruark Epilogue II standmounts I want an amp for at some point. My main music source is Tidal which is why the Naim appeals. If I went for the Arcam I'd need a separate streamer like the Bluesound Node. The other consideration is that I want a reasonably high-quality headphone output.

I have heard the 'Qute with some Focal headphones and was impressed. But I wasn't sure whether it had the grunt to control the bass of my Ruarks. Flabby bass is one of my main pet-hates with any system and I tend to notice this very quickly, so that and timing were among my concerns.

The other amp I've thought about is the new Marantz HD-AMP1, which has the high quality headphone out and the DAC, but I'd need to add the streamer as my source which would bring it up to the price of the Unitiqute anyway.
Hey. Well, ideally you'll be able to hear the stuff for yourself. The Marantz looks like a great product, actually, and I'm thinking of auditioning one just for the fun of it.

As for the Arcam, its bass can be ever so slightly tubby sometimes (material matters a lot), but again, you need to check that for yourself. It doesn't happen in an acoustically treated room, but in normal living rooms it can be a problem (and my room is very problematic, because it's square). It's not muddy or anything, and it does the rhythm thing very good, but sometimes it can be a bit tubby. Naim don't have that problem, and I find Naim's rhythmical abilities awesome. On the other hand, the Arcam seemed to have a... "bigger" sound then the plain UQ2. The UQ2 soundstage is wide as well, but not as tall and deep. And... well, big! :p The Nap100 corrects that.

Also, using Naim Nac A5 speaker cable on the Naim + Focal combo din't sound right - my dealer actually used NacA5 on an Arcam setup instead. I wanted to try it anyway, and they were right. They used Chord Rumour 2, and it sounded great, but when I tried it at home I would get bass modes (resonances) in the room. Using DNM Reson now, and I'm not thinking about changing anything till, maybe, I get enough money to afford Nac N172 + Nap155XS. But that might be overkill.

Looking around on the web, I found that your Ruarks have a warm-ish sound, so I would defenitely consider Naim and also Audiolab or Exposure. Also, Naim Nait 5si might not be a bad idea for the 87db sensitivity Ruarks.
That's good of you to give such a thorough insight into both units. Very helpful, thank you. Actually the Ruarks are on the forward side of neutral (to me at least) with a very detailed sound. I absolutely love them TBH, but know they need a decent amp to make them shine as brightly as they're capable of. They certainly outgun my former MA Gold GX50's in every department (except looks perhaps - the Gx50's were stunning to look at) even though they were pretty respectable speakers themselves.

Certainly the 'Qute has all the gizmos and having my main source (Tidal) bundled in is a strong selling point too. Then I can control the whole kaboodle using the app, rather than flitting between app and remote for the volume (of a more traditional style amp like the Arcam).

From your comments I would imagine for the bass control I'm looking for I'd probably need to step up to the Arcam A29, but by the time I add a streamer too it's stretching the wallet more than I'd like. Another contender might be the Marantz PM8005 which seems to have a strong following on this forum, would likely have the bass control I'd appreciate and ought to be had for around the price of the Arcam A19, so ought to be worth an audition too.

Anyway I'm not in a hurry, but others experience is useful to take into account when the time comes to pull the trigger.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
356
136
19,070
Well you could go for an XTZ A100D3 and that neat Onkyo C-N7050, and use the optical out into the XTZ's optical in if you find the Onkyo's dac overlysmooth. The onkyo only has an iOs control app though, if that's a problem. And i can vouch for the XTZ, it's unbeatable for the money, and does the first 50W in class A mode (of course you can switch it to full AB if you want). And if you don't like it's presentation, you can return it for full refund after a couple of weeks or so. No headphone out, though.

But indeed, audition everything you can, in your home preferably. There's great discounts on the Arcam A29 in my country, I think one + the CDS27 can be gotten for something like 1500 pounds :p - maybe a dealer can sweeten a deal for ya ^^
 

TonyS

New member
Jan 18, 2016
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So- I got myself a Canbridge CXA 80 amp. Will build slowly to a complete system- next step phono Amp (Cambridge's own amps oK?} and then CD player and streamer and finally speakers- looking for a new house so will wait on the room size before changing my old speakers). Any suggestions? The streamers seem a lot of cash- may just get a wifi dongle instead (I think I read about them).
 

TonyS

New member
Jan 18, 2016
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I've been having some fun- listened to KEF R300 and some similar priced Cabasse boxes (looked rather good in white) but with a €2000+ Arcam Amp and both sounded fantastic! (Try to listening to the Fairfield Four 'These Bones' on a decent system- awesome).

Then a few days KefLS50 and Kef R500 with the same amp as I have (CAmbridge CXA 80). really liked the LS50's- crystal clear, and the R500 had more presence but not so clear. Depends then on what mood I am in what is better!! Can I get the best of two worlds maybe with ATC speakers (360 mile round trip to demo) or what about adding a a Sub to the LS50's for when the mood takes me??
 

TonyS

New member
Jan 18, 2016
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I have an old mission turntable, it's around 30 years old but still running. Put in a cheap MM cartridge, before I bought my new kit, so that I could run it through my home cinema amp. Sounded dreadful I must say. So now I have Cambridge CXA 80 amp, the Cambirdhe phono amp and KEF LS50 speakers (think the 80 amp may have been a mistake as the 60 reviews better but that's another story) and have budget for a turntable- question is RP3 or try a new mc cartridge for the old turntable-when I look at the RP1 or project stuff for example they look so cheap and nasty. What hi-fi doesn't seem to have cartridge reviews so no starting point. Any thoughts??
 

Al ears

Moderator
TonyS said:
I have an old mission turntable, it's around 30 years old but still running. Put in a cheap MM cartridge, before I bought my new kit, so that I could run it through my home cinema amp. Sounded dreadful I must say. So now I have Cambridge CXA 80 amp, the Cambirdhe phono amp and KEF LS50 speakers (think the 80 amp may have been a mistake as the 60 reviews better but that's another story) and have budget for a turntable- question is RP3 or try a new mc cartridge for the old turntable-when I look at the RP1 or project stuff for example they look so cheap and nasty. What hi-fi doesn't seem to have cartridge reviews so no starting point. Any thoughts??
Which Cambridge Phono preamp? Don't even think of a MC cartridge with that set-up, stick with moving magnet, unless you've a lot of money to spend.
 

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