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Thoughts and experiences to help my journey to an upgrade / new system

lt85

Active member
Apr 20, 2021
1
1
25
Hi folks, new member here!

Thought I'd jump straight in and bow before the What Hi-Fi? forum hive mind. I've been nursing the same hifi system for many years now. Since my late teens in fact. After a pair of beloved floorstanders got damaged in a house move a month or so ago it seems time to refresh things. We're settling into a new home now, so a new system might be in order.

I have a Teac TN350 turntable and an Onkyo C7030 CD player that will be remaining.

I'd love some opinions and insights around amplifiers and speakers.

I have an old but again quite beloved (but a little past it) Denon PMA-250se, which has made me love Denon amps.

I've shortlisted:
  • Denon PMA 800ne
  • Yamaha 406, the streaming capabilities (Tidal etc) are a nice to have, not essential.
This main system is more for vinyl and CDs with occasional streaming that could always be done with an addon later if needed. I'd also considered the Marantz PM6007, but it isn't the most powerful particularly when the speakers aren't 8 ohm (equal or less than my current one), and I think for future proofing and for some of my speaker shortlist, it won't quite do the job.

For some context on placement and rationale around the list below:

I have a nice big solid oak hifi stand that I built 2-3 years ago (holds approx 300 LPs). The speakers need to be placed at either end of that due to logistics, probably with the turntable in the middle and the separates on a shelf below. Therefore I'm looking at speakers that can survive quite close placement to a solid rear wall (directly behind the hifi unit). So you'll see that none of these have the classic rear bass ports.

The room is a kitchen diner, and listening occurs both sitting/standing/cooking etc. It is fairly open plan and a decent size, so I definitely need to avoid the music getting lost within the space. We may get the chance to extend it one day, adding a few more feet. Which may see the speakers be able to go onto stands one day, we'll see.

Speaker shortlist:
  • Elac Debut 2.0 6.2
  • Elac Uni-Fi UB52
  • Wharfedale Evo 4.2 (creeping to the top of the list, joint with the UB52s at the moment) - does anyone who owns these know if these can take spikes or feet for isolation purposes? As if I can get away with no stand on top of the hifi unit that'd be great as it is fairly tall already.
Considered but perhaps not right:
  • Triangle Borea BR03 (could change my mind, but something about the aesthetic is throwing me off) despite those front bass ports
  • Elac debut reference (the finishes won't work)
  • KEF Q350
  • Klipsch RP600
Listening habits:

Primarily alternative music: punk, rock, alternative, some metal and then a smattering of everything else from pop to soul and blues etc!

So I absolutely like honesty and clarity, but I'm keen for some punch and fun at times as well. Terrace so can't go nuts on volume.

My local shops don't seem to be carrying the combos above for demos, so my next step is probably a home trial.

Appreciate any thoughts or experiences of any of the above and look forward to being a part of the forum.
 
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muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
302
73
4,970
Few thoughts

You'll probably find the marantz is every bit as powerful as the other amps mentioned, different makers express power in different ways, the marantz is not a low powered amp per se

Are you going to use stands on your speakers, if so consider the wharfedale diamond 230 floorstander, won't take up any more room than standmounter on a stand, it fires through a plinth on the bottom making it unfussy about position and goes for very small money in richer sounds, if it must be a stand mouth, I'd add the q Acoustics 3030i to your list.

Marantz and denon do similar streaming amp, an nr1200 and a dra800h, all the bells and whistles in one box, both get love on internet reviews
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
776
356
11,270
Think if you want an honest no thrills amp i think start my journey with rotel, and NAD proper amps for sensible money. I quit like the sound of kef with either. Not really a fan of Marantz but I know many are.

I’ve heard good things of Yamaha and klipsch as a pairing. And I’m fairly found of klipsch my self. CD players nowadays are actually quite hard to find for sensible money. Now that there more of a niche product it seems. I’d be inclined to find a good second hand DVD player from arcam or pioneer for about 20-50 quid on eBay.
 

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