System re-think, downsize

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ultraminiature

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Aug 13, 2010
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This is my current Main System
Rega planar 1 At VM95ML Rega Fono mini, Nad C521 bee
Marantz NR1200
Focal 714s Yamaha Ns sw050 sub
Synology Nas, Tidal hifi subscription
Samsung S22 Ultra,

I live in a semi detached house and my wife has tinnitus (from 100's of loud rock concerts🙄)
Those lovely floor standers don't get much of a run out these days, I like it loud but can hardly ever turn up above 5 on my amp, never mind 11.
I'm wondering whether to keep the Rega TT, sell the rest of the boxes and go for something like

KEF LS50 Wireless II.​

You can get streaming services via a connected tablet, laptop or computer or even Chromecast from a mobile phone (avoid Bluetooth because it is lossy).

If wanting to connect a TV then many wireless DSP active speakers have poor latency (lip synch) and most that have HDMI or suitable optical input will not scale up to surround sound in the future - they are a stereo only solution. (Kef LS 50 II Wireless, LS60, Devialet Phantoms I or II, Klipsch, Kanto, Triangle)

Powered speakers are usually cheaper than wireless DSP active speakers. If they have a phono stage built in then it is at the low end of the market but does help on the decluttering but more cables to plug into the primary speaker.

The cheapest full active speakers are the analogue Adams Audio. These are studio monitors, liked for the detail they deliver - pick the size and bass level you like but they have no built in phono or streamer.

Some wireless systems have a hub (for the cables and connections) and each speaker has a mains cable. If the wireless system is WiSA you can get a transmitter for stereo only or for full surround sound.

Among the growing number of WiSA speakers are Buchardt. The A500 is similar in cost to the Kef LSII wireless. The hub has the streaming and inputs and can be hidden away which helps to hide wires and cables. buchardt offer a trial period with a return to factory for a refund if you don't get on with them.

Dali (DALI Oberon 7C) went their own way with wireless so similar to WiSA but different. Others to consider are Genelec and AVI DM10, Klipsch The Fives, Sevens and Nines, Devialet Phantoms (bass might be too full on for some but most people listening to the Phantom Golds I have rate them over what I consider better speakers (at three times the cost)). For surround you would need Ethernet wire custom Phantoms but a stereo pair will optically connect to a TV. Streaming is cast from a mobile phone (originally their app had them built in).

Consider the discontinued 2013-2018 B&O Beolab 17. Using the wired powerlink (contact sounds heavenly for cables to trigger them on etc) with a Wiim Pro plus or Beosound Core for streaming they are a bargain, punching well above their size and can be run wirelessly or powerlink as part of a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system.

To use with WiSA you need a WiSA transmitter. There are transmitters in some televisions, with USB (computer input), HDMI (from a TV) as well as hubs with streaming from Almando.

Not finding the information I was looking for and the lack of suitable showrooms near me I ended up with speakers from Meridian, B&O, Devialet and B&W and my short list (information gathering) went from 10 to 109 systems. I have been looking at replacing my 1980 and 1989 active speakers to ones that need less maintenance and work better together in surround (they had been okay but over the past five years have become more difficult to balance and to repair). I have my CDs and LPs stored on hard drives and cast to the Phantoms and B&O Beolab 28, Beosound Level over DNLA and uPnP. I have a Linn Sondek LP12 retained to transfer the last 500 LPs to the hard drive. My screen is a 65" touch panel (no TV).
 

ultraminiature

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Aug 13, 2010
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Family acceptable and extreme decluttering:-

the record deck, CD and boxes have to go. Also the cables. Wireless streaming DSP active speakers are the Future-fi. Some are fixed to a stereo pair (B&W Formation Duo, Kef LS50, LS60) and some seem to offer lots of inputs e.g. phono stage, fibre optic, coaxial, HDMI and analogue (just more cables to the primary speaker).

Consider
B&O Beolab 8 on stands or wall mounted (Wi-fi, Airplay, Bluetooth or WiSA for low latency with TV)
B&O Beolab 17 with Beosound Core for streaming to them over a wired powerlink cable but can be used wirelessly with WiSA transmitter)
B&O Beosound Level latency too poor for TV or video but so flexible and, well, listen to them as for many they would not need to bother with anything different - ideal for connecting to a media library or streaming services
Devialet Phantom I/II - fibre optic to TV, DNLA streaming cute (for some) and bass few can match
Cabasse Pearl Akoya Wireless Speaker

These are the life style speakers where design is as important as sound. These are not rectangular traditional boxes. Materials and design costs and many audiophiles rate them as style over performance and too expensive. True but also false and second hand you can get bargains at under half the original price even with them holding their value more than some other hi-fi systems.

The claimed issue with these systems is that for repairs or upgrades everything has to be changed at one time. We do that with a car - we don't fit a new bigger engine and expect to work without issues. B&O claim they can upgrade the Mozart platform when there are changes to networks and services so software and hardware can be upgraded. Buchardt enable users to take the electronics out and send then for replacement, upgrade or repairs which is no different than loosing an amplifier for repairs or even exchanging it for a different one.

DACs have changed the most often in recent years and are also the most likely part to fail in the future. I have found that incremental upgrades don't work. Change the input source and I needed a better amp and then better speakers. The more components the more mis-matched changes where some speakers need a different amp or the amp with additional features needs more sensitive speakers. With separates we think and hear small differences and think we can make a better choice if I just swap out "this" but the designer of the all in one DSP active speaker has done all that in an acoustic test chamber with instruments and tweaked out the best performance and adjusting cabinet, drivers, electronics to work together so I do not have to and can just listen to the finished result as music.
 

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
Cheers, if a demo tells me what I expect from the kefs (Bass lite) everything else will be irrelevant eh😁

I don't know how I get away with the stuff I've got in our living room, I was thinking of simplifying /down sizing but maybe I'd miss my floorstanders etc

Once you put them on stands the KEFs will take up just as much room as the floorstanders. If you don't use the CD player take that out the system. Sounds like you plan to keep the Rega anyway. At the end of the day you are going to a lot of trouble to just get rid of your amp which is neatly tucked away on the shelf anyway.
 

jonboywalton75

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Jan 11, 2012
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Once you put them on stands the KEFs will take up just as much room as the floorstanders. If you don't use the CD player take that out the system. Sounds like you plan to keep the Rega anyway. At the end of the day you are going to a lot of trouble to just get rid of your amp which is neatly tucked away on the shelf anyway.
I've decided to hold off, thx for all the tips lads, they help me to not be impulsive.
Probably just looking for an excuse to buy shiny new kit.
I'll probably buy a new bathroom instead, oh the joys of marriage 🤣🤣
 

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