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Upgrade advice

pravstar

New member
Mar 14, 2015
24
0
0
System - Musical fidelity A3.2 cd player and amp, proac studio 125 speakers, ecosse master, chord oddesey 4.

I've managed to balance out my system after only 13 years of trying lol, but just feel like I would like to get more out of hifi. Room dimensions 18 by 15 ft.

I am happy to start again from scratch or add to existing components, however for cost purposes 70/30 in favour of starting afresh.

I have a budget of 2/3k tops including sales, I'm really in the dark about new equipment, when I auditioned some roksan kandy k3 it only sounded marginally better, mainly due to better bass extension, I heard better from my friends electrocompaniet and probably what I want from hearing is the musical fidelity ams, but that's outta budget, so that made me consider abrahamsen or sugden for amps but keen on suggestions . I'm happy to buy old kit too but these are generally hard to audition.

I'd assume newer cds would be better due to dac technology. I'd ideally like a 200 wpc or class a, or will consider any biamp methods, my rack has enough space for either. I have considered old kef speakers but focal,pmc, proac, spendor etc any brand really.
I'd like to split the budget at source 600-750 amp 750-1000, speakers 1500 plus, any advice welcomed.
 
Feb 18, 2015
58
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Hi pravstar.I very much doubt you need a 200wpc amp for a 18x10 room and you ain't gonni get a quality one for £800,If you want a real quality sound I reckon you should check out some good used kit,obviously electro stuff is out of budget so I'm going to recommend my system to you with the better cd player (not my very own lol)but a naim nait xs,cd5xs and the pmc twenty 21's,my room is around the same size as your own and it sounds sublime and should come in around your £3000 used and would be around the 5k mark new.ok the amps not class A..but who cares when it sounds this good.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
180
59
18,670
At this level, it is almost impossible to suggest anything to significantly improve what you have, with your budget. A lot of products will sound different, but as you've discovered, it isn't easy t get the balance you seek. And quite why you now want to change isn't that obvious!

Maybe try to hear a ten grand plus system to see if that is something to aspire to. You might not necessarily like it!

But I'd stick to MF and ProAc if you like them, as there is lots of used choice from which you could re-sell if dissatisfied.

Or go for a complete change, perhaps, with Naim or Linn.

Lastly, I'm not sure DAC technology has advanced hugely for cd replay. The main advances have been for hi-res computer sourced music.
 

pravstar

New member
Mar 14, 2015
24
0
0
Thanks for the replies, naim is another brand as well as accuphase and luxman I've considered, I see so many satisfied naim customers on here. The 1k for amp is flexible as if necessary I can push this up. I wanted a change upwards for a while but just felt I needed to understand hifi components before making any transition as the musical fidelity items were my first ever separates. I listened to a friends electrocompaniet and ams system and it had an extra degree of refinement, both out of my budget btw. I will take your advice and maybe increase the budget in a few months. Thanks for the cd advice also, I assumed the technology passed onto newer dacs would have been implemented into newer cds, but if it's mainly for streaming then I won't change my source. Cheers again
 

radiorog

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2013
54
0
10,540
Ive heard the Abrahamsen , and I'd try and have a listen to it if you can. You might find it a significant improvement to warrant spending money on it.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
I would blow the lot on a Class A amp like this ex-dem Sugen IA-4, which would sound great with your Proacs.

http://www.fanthorpes.co.uk/blog/sugden-masterclass-ia-4-amplifier
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
Al ears said:
CnoEvil said:
Well that's sorted then. *smile*
Wish they were all this easy.  :)

Later he could upgrade his Proacs........
Linn DS at one end and Proacs/Harbeths at the other and Class A in the middle...and we don't even charge for these pearls of wisdom. Spending other folks money is where it's at! *diablo*
 

Al ears

Moderator
CnoEvil said:
Al ears said:
CnoEvil said:
Well that's sorted then. *smile*
Wish they were all this easy. :)

Later he could upgrade his Proacs........
Linn DS at one end and Proacs/Harbeths at the other and Class A in the middle...and we don't even charge for these pearls of wisdom. Spending other folks money is where it's at! *diablo*
I think you are right. We are very good at doing that........ just wish I didn't keep taking my own advice. ;-)
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
Mark Rose-Smith said:
Hi pravstar.I very much doubt you need a 200wpc amp for a 18x10 room and you ain't gonni get a quality one for £800,If you want a real quality sound I reckon you should check out some good used kit,obviously electro stuff is out of budget so I'm going to recommend my system to you with the better cd player (not my very own lol)but a naim nait xs,cd5xs and the pmc twenty 21's,my room is around the same size as your own and it sounds sublime and should come in around your £3000 used and would be around the 5k mark new.ok the amps not class A..but who cares when it sounds this good.
I paid £150 for my high quality 300 watt amps. There is a catch though. Noisy cooling fans and noisy transformers.

It's easy enough to buy a quality 200 watt amp for £800 or less. With no catch, if you're happy to buy 2nd hand - which pravstar is. Just look out for top of the range Japanese 1970's to 1990's amps.

And, hand on heart Mark, does your system in your room sound sublime in the bass department when playing run of the mill rock and pop recordings? Does it sound like you have a full drumkit, including bass drum as well as a bass guitarist playing in your room?

And when playing acoustic recordings, does your system sound as wide open and unfettered in the midrange on a good recording as it would if the band or orchestra were playing there in your room?
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
nopiano said:
At this level, it is almost impossible to suggest anything to significantly improve what you have, with your budget. A lot of products will sound different, but as you've discovered, it isn't easy t get the balance you seek. And quite why you now want to change isn't that obvious!

Maybe try to hear a ten grand plus system to see if that is something to aspire to. You might not necessarily like it!

But I'd stick to MF and ProAc if you like them, as there is lots of used choice from which you could re-sell if dissatisfied.

Or go for a complete change, perhaps, with Naim or Linn.

Lastly, I'm not sure DAC technology has advanced hugely for cd replay. The main advances have been for hi-res computer sourced music.
I totally disagree.

I'd concentrate on the speakers first, if I had pravstars room and system. He may find there's no need to change them if he gets the right speakers.

For £1500 second hand there are loads of speakers that will sound significantly better than his Prozacs.

Classic horns and horn hybrids from the likes of Altec, Klipsch and EV. Large vintage sealed box speakers. Electrostatics.

Also, I can understand why Pravstar wants to change. If I had his speakers I'd be looking to swap them for something else ASAP.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
CnoEvil said:
I would blow the lot on a Class A amp like this ex-dem Sugen IA-4, which would sound great with your Proacs.

http://www.fanthorpes.co.uk/blog/sugden-masterclass-ia-4-amplifier
I semi agree.

I'm a big fan of Class A amps. The thing is; the type of class A amps that I like the best are SET's, which would really come into their own with more amplifier friendly speakers than the Prozacs. World Class SET's can be bought for £1250 new. Not too far off the OP's budget.
 

bluedroog

New member
Mar 4, 2010
8
0
0
I honeslty think you're being too constrained in your thinking, my advice would be to get your self to a show like Scalford, proper user set-ups rather than loads of similar stuff you'll be pushed at dealers.

Active monitors

Huge 15" drivers

Horns

DIY

There is a plehtoa of stuff out there you just don't see in a typical highstreet store and it is quite often a lot better. Just don't rush this decsion, make it count.
 

pravstar

New member
Mar 14, 2015
24
0
0
Thanks to everyone who has contributed. It's been an eye-opening read to say the least.
The sugden amp and top end proacs suggested would blow my budget and would want me to further upgrade without doubt, so a no-no there. A speaker change has been mentioned a few times on here and maybe that's the issue. I'm getting a sweet midrange and treble but the sound could be fuller and richer. I've considered speakers such as Martin logan electrostatic too, I like the sound of the vintage Japanese amps but will have to do some research there.

Speakers will be the first port of call. Leaving proac, not many do, or move up the range? Tough call, but I'll start here. My cd player was fine tuned by musical fidelity, but bought courtesy of ebay. This replaced an ultra bright a3, huge difference, but I honestly wouldn't pay for fine tuning on modest price equipment, truth be told.

The linn stuff, the sneaky never appealed to me, but the akurate, I've always wanted to hear. A lot of people have sold top spec equipment for this so it maybe worth a demo
 

pravstar

New member
Mar 14, 2015
24
0
0
Extremely enticing, surely such an event is too good to be true. I just can't DIY, I've terminated my speaker cables but I'm not venturing any further. Your post actually had me looking at the acu nera 125 horn speaker and it's outrageous 96 db sensitivity, only 8ohms, thanks for opening my eyes, I'll take a bit more time on my speaker selection. Cheers
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
My "serious" suggestion was simply to go for the Sugden....the rest is down the road.

Sugden/Proac is a great match.
 
Feb 18, 2015
58
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0
lindsayt said:
Mark Rose-Smith said:
Hi pravstar.I very much doubt you need a 200wpc amp for a 18x10 room and you ain't gonni get a quality one for £800,If you want a real quality sound I reckon you should check out some good used kit,obviously electro stuff is out of budget so I'm going to recommend my system to you with the better cd player (not my very own lol)but a naim nait xs,cd5xs and the pmc twenty 21's,my room is around the same size as your own and it sounds sublime and should come in around your £3000 used and would be around the 5k mark new.ok the amps not class A..but who cares when it sounds this good.
I paid £150 for my high quality 300 watt amps. There is a catch though. Noisy cooling fans and noisy transformers.

It's easy enough to buy a quality 200 watt amp for £800 or less. With no catch, if you're happy to buy 2nd hand - which pravstar is. Just look out for top of the range Japanese 1970's to 1990's amps.

And, hand on heart Mark, does your system in your room sound sublime in the bass department when playing run of the mill rock and pop recordings? Does it sound like you have a full drumkit, including bass drum as well as a bass guitarist playing in your room?

And when playing acoustic recordings, does your system sound as wide open and unfettered in the midrange on a good recording as it would if the band or orchestra were playing there in your room?

Hi Lindsayt.I thought it would be a bit crazy recommending a thirty year old amp to the op,you just don't know where it's been.lol.And no my system doesn't sound sublime with run of the mill rock recordings and I don't play pop music.with decently mastered music it sounds great especially acoustic stuff but I'm not so as naive to believe that your going to get the live performance in your room...not going to happen whatever kit you own.Also as I live in a upper flat deep rumbling bass is a no go for myself..so no subs and Floorstanding speakers are too intrusive in my space and to my neighbours,so I must compromise,but the pmc's really do give a good account of themselves,anyway I was only suggesting an option to the op like I and everyone else has the same right to.Ps I did assume that the op was looking for a modern good quality 200wpc amp which you won't get for £800,Bryston,linn,krell,electrocompianet etc.as he did mention his friend had elecro kit.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
Mark, why do you think it's crazy to recommend a 30 year old amp?

I don't think it's crazy at all. Not when you can buy a good sounding, powerful, well engineered amp for a few hundred quid. Seems sensible to me.

Thanks for the clarification about your system. From what you've said I wouldn't describe your system as "sublime". I'd describe it as "mediocre".

World Class systems - according to my definition of World Class - do give you something pretty close to a live performance (albeit usually at lower volumes at home than live). And they will give you this with a wide range of recordings. Not just the ones that are cherrry picked to show off a system in its' best light.

From what pravstar's said in this thread, my understanding is that he's tried an OK system and that he's now looking for something that will elevate his system towards World Class.

The trouble is, World Class system are either way beyond pravstar's budget or include large to huge unfashionable looking speakers. If he wants to keep it small and fashionable looking then he's likely to get only a small step upwards in sound quality instead of a big leap upwards.
 

Benedict_Arnold

New member
Jan 16, 2013
661
1
0
There are two Cyrus X-powers on Ebay right now for about GBP600 each.

X-power's twin mono construction delivers 2 x 100 W RMS into 8 Ohms. Bridge two of them in twin mono mode and you'll have 2 x 181 W RMS. More than enough oomph for most home stereos.
 

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