The next step

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
494
327
19,270
Dear all

I curently run an Onkyo CS-515UK CD Receiver with Monitor Audio Bronze 2 speakers on Atacama stands and I am now getting ready to work on upgrading this system.

My musical tastes are very eclectic but, as a pianist myself, I particularly love classical music and listen to lots of piano music, orchestral works, and opera. Consequently I'm looking for something which offers good tonal accuracy and soundstaging without losing that all important rhythmic pace. I like the sound of the Onkyo/MA combination but yearn for greater detail and more space between instruments in the soundstage. I am sure the speakers have much more to offer and propose to upgrade the electronics and keep the MAs for a while.

What would other readers recommend? I'm currently considering Audiolab 8000S and Arcam DIVA A70 amplifiers and the Arcam CD73T, Audiolab 8000CDE, and Marantz SA7002 CD players. Any recommendations? A friend has suggested Marantz CD6002 and PM6002 but will this be much of an upgrade? What cables should I be considering? Is it worth looking at upgrading to the MA RS1 speakers as well at some point? Does the Cyrus range offer anything I should be looking at? Is it worth me considering second hand and accessing an amp from someone like Musical Fidelity (what about the X1 and X2 amplifiers for example?).

All thoughts gratefully accepted. I need to get this right!!!
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
494
327
19,270
PS I've tried Cambridge Audio Azur 640 Amp and CD and was totally unimpressed both with my MAs and the Mordaunt-Shorts. I found the sound to be very artificial and unbalanced.
 

gregory

New member
Sep 9, 2007
45
0
0
well matthew, as someone who plays guitar and has a son who plays the drum's i can understand your need for tonal accuracy but the piano is a difficult instrument to reproduce faithfully so this will need some thought.i have not heard the new audiolab range but use an audiolab 8000a amp with my lp12 through ms 906 speakers and some old linn index and a few too many overs that the wife feels is overkill.so i myself need to declutter and find a new pair of speakers.anyway,i find the audiolabs abilitiy to locate each instrument in the mix breathtaking,i should have purchased this amp years ago and have only recently been able to hear what a cracking amp this is and this is feeding mordaunt shorts,not that bad a speaker in itself but sometimes a tad harsh.as for the cyrus kit i have heard the v6 amp and cd do nice things with classical music, i like a bit of mahler myself so that may be an option.i have used arcam and the cd 73 is a nice cd if a touch safe sounding,the same could be said of their amps.mf will be a good option and i still use or my son does in his room an mf xray xa 50 monoblock's and a1 amp through tdl 2 speakers.have you considered naim,they have much of what your looking for plus the rythmic pace you mentioned.of course these new electronics will need better speakers in the future as the ma's,not that bad but would limit i feel the tonal accuracy needed.i hope this has been some help and look foreward on hearing how you get on,gregory,
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
494
327
19,270
Thanks Gregory. I'd thought of Naim. I did have a Nait 3 fed by a Rega Apollo on loan for a short period and loved many things about this combination. What I did find irritating though was that whilst the front to back imaging was excellent on the Nait 3, it wasn't so good at left to right imaging and positioning instruments particularly in an orchestra. Does anyone know if the latest Nait solves this?

I'm definitely going to audition the Audiolab stuff and look into MF, although much of the latter seems a bit beyond my price range. Does their kit make a sound second hand investment in terms of reliability?

I have taken your comments about the MAs on board and think I'll probably look at upgrading the speakers sooner rather than later, if not immediately. Any recommendations? I've thought about MA RS1s, but am also interested in finding out what the current Epos range has to offer. I've heard Quad 11Ls but was completely underwhelmed by them.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I bought second hand on ebay an MF x-80 and i love it to bits, not problems with it at all and i ve had about 2yrs now.
In terms of cost v sound you can pick this £600 amp up for £200-£250.

have a look at the review, it really is that good!

http://www.musicalfidelity.com/reviews/pdf/xrayv3/xray1.pdf
 

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