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System upgrade

Wolf75

New member
Apr 17, 2011
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Hi all,

I have a fairly good system, which I enjoy very match, but I have a possibility to upgrade. The system consists of Cambridge Audio 840c as source, the amplifier is Heed Obelisk Si integrated, and Dynaudio Focus 260 speakers. The room is 4,3x5,1 m. What should I change first?
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Interesting system...and an interesting question.

- What are you trying to improve?

- How much are you looking to spend?

- Would you be prepared to move to Streaming?

- Is your amp's 35W powerful enough with your speakers?
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
899
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19,270
Wolf75 said:
Hi all,

I have a fairly good system, which I enjoy very match, but I have a possibility to upgrade. The system consists of Cambridge Audio 840c as source, the amplifier is Heed Obelisk Si integrated, and Dynaudio Focus 260 speakers. The room is 4,3x5,1 m. What should I change first?
https://www.audiot.co.uk/products/heed-obelisk-si-mk2-amplifier-with-x2-power-supply-9697.aspx

What don't you like about the current set up that you want to improve?
 

Wolf75

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Apr 17, 2011
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I forgot to say, that I alredy have the external power supply X2 for the amp, so it can 80w into 4 ohm. I like the sound of my system, if I have to mention areas to improve, it would be more grip on the bass, more hitting bass. The type of presentation is smooth and non-fatiguing, with many details, which I like, but it could be more attacking, when neccessary. Money to spend is 3000-4000€. If I would change the source, it would be a streamer instead of the CD player.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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Wolf 75, any of these JBL's take your fancy?

https://www.ebay.de/sch/i.html?_fsrp=1&_sop=3&_osacat=14990&_udhi=4000&LH_ItemCondition=7000%7C3000&rt=nc&_dcat=14990&_from=R40&_trksid=p2334524.m570.l1313.TR12.TRC2.A0.H0.Xjbl.TRS0&_nkw=jbl&_sacat=14990

My personal pick would be the 100kg, 3199 Euro, horn hybrids with 2206H drivers.
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
219
45
10,820
And change the amp. Since you seem to be wanting a vigurous sound, a naim supernait should be right up your street. Or maybe the new naim all in ones. Uniti star etc.

Creek amps also are supposed to have a pacey rhythmic sound. And their evolution 100A is a good place to look.

But as usual please audition before you buy :)
 

kukulec

Well-known member
Jan 25, 2015
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10,545
I would also go for a stronger amp. I think you do not need to spend 3000-4000€ to get the sound you are looking for.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
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19,070
Amp and cd player or just a dac instead of a new cdplayer, according to reviews alone by the quality and price of the speakers, i would get a more powerfull amp and better source
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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You have decent speakers, which I suspect your Amp could be struggling to fully control....so maybe look at Hegel.

I'd also consider Streamers from Linn, Naim and Cyrus.

If your budget could be stretched further, I'd look at Devialet.
 

Wolf75

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Apr 17, 2011
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A Naim Uniti Star could be an option, or the Cambridge Audio CXN streamer with a more powerful amp? The speakers are very good, so these are keepers IMHO.
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
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18,545
CnoEvil said:
You have decent speakers, which I suspect your Amp could be struggling to fully control....so maybe look at Hegel.

I'd also consider Streamers from Linn, Naim and Cyrus.

If your budget could be stretched further, I'd look at Devialet.
+1 on Devialet.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Wolf75 said:
A Naim Uniti Star could be an option, or the Cambridge Audio CXN streamer with a more powerful amp? The speakers are very good, so these are keepers IMHO.
You will get a variety of suggestions on here, some of which conflict - as we all have our preferences. My advice is that you take the ideas you get and then demo, as it is not our taste that will necessarily give you the most pleasure.

I have always heard good things about the CA Streamer....but I'm happy with a Linn DS, having compared it with offerings from Cyrus and Naim.

There are good prices on the outgoing Arcam A Series amps at the moment, so could be worth checking that out.

Rega, Rotel and Creek also make decent kit.

What brands do you have access to?
What size is your room and how near the wall/corners are your speakers...and is your listening position near a wall?
What sort of music do you listen to?
You seem to be in the Euro Zone...is that Ireland or the Continent? If it's Ireland, Clooney Audio in Dublin is great...or there are good dealers in NI.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
823
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5,270
Depending on presentation you need I'd look at these amps in and around your budget Densen B150XS, Hegel H190 and if you can stretch Leema Tucana II.

I must say really like these JBLs linked by Lindsay.
 

Strictly Stereo

Well-known member
Jan 29, 2018
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520
Wolf75 said:
I forgot to say, that I alredy have the external power supply X2 for the amp, so it can 80w into 4 ohm. I like the sound of my system, if I have to mention areas to improve, it would be more grip on the bass, more hitting bass. The type of presentation is smooth and non-fatiguing, with many details, which I like, but it could be more attacking, when neccessary. Money to spend is 3000-4000€. If I would change the source, it would be a streamer instead of the CD player.
Your Dyns are a rather challenging load. You will get more from them with a beefier amplifier. Given your budget, I would at least consider the Hegel H190 and H360, both of which also include with built-in DACs and streamers.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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CnoEvil said:
You have decent speakers, which I suspect your Amp could be struggling to fully control....so maybe look at Hegel.

I'd also consider Streamers from Linn, Naim and Cyrus.

If your budget could be stretched further, I'd look at Devialet.
Dynaudio 260's are a long way from being as decent as those 3199 euro JBL's on German ebay.

I would be very confident of those JBL's with the OP's CA CD player & Heed amplifier comfortably beating his Dynaudios with the most exotic and expensive digital source and amplier anyone cares to name - eg Linn Klimax DS, £18k Devialet etc etc etc.

Anyone care to put this to the test? Maybe not with those particular JBL's but some other horn hybrid with 15" or bigger bass drivers?
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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lindsayt said:
CnoEvil said:
You have decent speakers, which I suspect your Amp could be struggling to fully control....so maybe look at Hegel.

I'd also consider Streamers from Linn, Naim and Cyrus.

If your budget could be stretched further, I'd look at Devialet.
Dynaudio 260's are a long way from being as decent as those 3199 euro JBL's on German ebay.

I would be very confident of those JBL's with the OP's CA CD player & Heed amplifier comfortably beating his Dynaudios with the most exotic and expensive digital source and amplier anyone cares to name - eg Linn Klimax DS, £18k Devialet etc etc etc.

Anyone care to put this to the test? Maybe not with those particular JBL's but some other horn hybrid with 15" or bigger bass drivers?
I'm delighted that we have somebody on here that gives a very different alternative....but not everybody wants innately ugly eyesores, or has a room that can accomodate the type of speaker you recommend.

I cannot comment on how much better they are, as I simply don't know. The Devialet option does not require a spend of 18k, or anything like.

I appreciate, that due to your particular knowledge and size of living area, you can put togther a great sound for very sensible money...but in recent posts you seem to insinuate, that anyone who doesn't follow your particular path needs their head read.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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Yeah, but CnoEvil, in the ebay link I provided earlier in this thread there were a number of JBL models that are as domestically acceptable as Dynaudio 260's, such as the JBL 4312's. That's why I asked the OP, if there were any that he fancied - ie liked the look of. It could be that he'll only like the look of an underperforming model (not all JBL's sound great). Or it could be that he likes the look of something that would give his system a considerable and fundamental upgrade.

And whilst the 4312's might not sound as spectacularly realistic as the 100 kg horn hybrids they would still sound better (With the OP's source and amp) than the Dynaudios (with even the best digital source and amplifier in the world).

Both the 4312's and the 100kg JBL's would sound fine in the OP's 4.3 x 5 metre listening room.

Yes I know that the Devialet option does not require £18k. But the point that I was making was that even if you went to the top of the Devialet / Linn / Naim / Accuphase (whatever) product range it still wouldn't be enough to elevate a system with Dynaudio 260's into anything higher than an average median system. So what's the point of spending £2k on a Devialet when that certainly wouldn't either?

Whereas if the OP kept his source and amp and got 4312's he'd have an above average median system.

In this thread I'm not trying to insinuate anything. I am stating as clearly and frankly as I can that telling the OP to spend money on a digital source or amplification is bad advice.
 

Wolf75

New member
Apr 17, 2011
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Those JBL’s are rather big, and the room is a living room, so these are not an ideal option for me. I can pull the speakers 50 cm from the rear wall, listening distance is about 4 m, at the opposite wall. The room is 22m2. I listen a wide range of music, from rock to classical, jazz, blues, female vocals etc... The Devialet is a very likeable amp, but the price too high, don’t you think, it would be overkill for the Focus 260?
 

kukulec

Well-known member
Jan 25, 2015
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10,545
Wolf75 said:
Those JBL’s are rather big, and the room is a living room, so these are not an ideal option for me. I can pull the speakers 50 cm from the rear wall, listening distance is about 4 m, at the opposite wall. The room is 22m2. I listen a wide range of music, from rock to classical, jazz, blues, female vocals etc... The Devialet is a very likeable amp, but the price too high, don’t you think, it would be overkill for the Focus 260?
I think there is no such an amplification which would be overkill for a speaker. For a room maybe.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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lindsayt said:
In this thread I'm not trying to insinuate anything. I am stating as clearly and frankly as I can that telling the OP to spend money on a digital source or amplification is bad advice.
IMO. It's not bad Advice, its alternate advice. Most of us have to consider aesthetics and have Partners that have a say...and also like to hear something first...and maybe have the comfort of a warranty.

In some recent threads, you have imo come across as a bit scathing of anyone who doesn't follow your philosophy.....normally I don't get this from you, as you usually give your advice, without being judgemental of other approaches/priorities.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
580
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19,270
Wolf75 said:
I forgot to say, that I alredy have the external power supply X2 for the amp, so it can 80w into 4 ohm. I like the sound of my system, if I have to mention areas to improve, it would be more grip on the bass, more hitting bass. The type of presentation is smooth and non-fatiguing, with many details, which I like, but it could be more attacking, when neccessary. Money to spend is 3000-4000€. If I would change the source, it would be a streamer instead of the CD player.
"more grip on the bass, more hitting bass" I hear you say... Naim it is, then!

But seriously, do try to audition some stuff prior to purchase, and Hegel should be on that list no doubt. With that budget, though, if you don't mind going second hand and multiple box count, you can easily get some Naim separates - and the bonus is that if you don't like them, they're fairly easy to shift, because Naim hold great SH value. If you wanna splash that entire budget for amplification, you can get into Naim Nac 282 + Nap200 teritory. But even a Nac 202 + Nap 200 would be a great upgrade, and this will also leave some cash for Tellurium Q Black 2 speaker cable, and even a NAPSC and Hi-cap DR, or a source upgrade. If you wanna keep a low box-count, even the Supernait 2 is well worth considering and would bring the traits you speak of.

If you have a Naim dealer you can go to (that also carries Dynaudio or can accommodate a home demo, which is the best thing you can do, since the room matters a LOT), make sure you listen to more of their stuff, as it sounds different (even if they share a common trait - rhythm driven). My list would have the new Uniti range, the old Superuniti, Supernait 2 and at least a pre-power combo. But on the SH market you can get a lot more for your money (unless you get good deals on outgoing products from your dealer).
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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Wolf75 said:
Those JBL’s are rather big, and the room is a living room, so these are not an ideal option for me. I can pull the speakers 50 cm from the rear wall, listening distance is about 4 m, at the opposite wall. The room is 22m2. I listen a wide range of music, from rock to classical, jazz, blues, female vocals etc... The Devialet is a very likeable amp, but the price too high, don’t you think, it would be overkill for the Focus 260?
Yes the 100 kg JBL's are large.

The 21 kg JBL 4312's on the other hand are smaller than the Dynaudio focus 260's.

4312's are 597 x 362 x 292 mm

260's are 995 x 202 x 294 mm

What's more the Dynaudios are rear ported floorstanders whilst the JBL 4312's are front ported "bookshelves" / "studio monitors" IE designed to be used against the wall. This makes the JBL's less intrusive and better domestically than the 260's

The icing on the cake is that classic JBL's will hold their value, should you or your family ever wish to sell them. They are sought after speakers. Sought after for good reason.

And the 4312's are but one example of many speakers that you could buy.
 

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