Upgrade -Special sound searched

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
2,556
4
0
Visit site
Hello everybody,

This is my first post. I´ve been reading the forums for some time and I feel this is the right place to ask a question. I have been for the last 20-something years enjoying “analogic” music from my equipment, consisting in a venerable Luxman PD220 Turntable and a Harman-Kardon PM635 amplifier. They are old, I know, but I like very much the clear sound of the Harman. Currently I am using similarly old Kef C40 loudspeakers, which I feel are better for rock but addapt to everything. I also have digital sources, but this is another story.

Now I will donate part of this setting to a relative and will buy a new amplifier + speakers, and here is where I need help. I hear to all kind of music (“there is only two types of music: good and bad”), but I spend more time listening to acoustic instruments and voice, be it classical, ethnical, folk or jazz. I would like to buy something that is as good as possible reproducing the textures of single instruments and voice, not really interested in good reproduction of rock. I would like, say, to close my eyes and “see” Rostropovich playing in front of me.

I am aware that I have to do my homework and go and listen and compare, but I only want some suggstions to start with. Any special brand/combination? Should I go valves? Perhaps professional audio? I want this to listen preferently my collection of vinyls, although I will also connect a CD player. Any suggestion will be welcome.

I was thinking in spending around 1000 pounds for both amplifier and speakers, but if necessary I can stretch it to 2000, although I prefer not to pay that much.

Thank to everyone who took the time to read, and perhaps answer!
 

altruistic.lemon

New member
Jul 25, 2011
64
0
0
Visit site
If you're not fussed by bass, then the Harbeth P3ESRs are the way to go but will punch a hole in the budget at £1500. However, if you partner them with something like the Rega Brio R at £500 you'll have a real keeper of a system.

If you like a brighter sound with vivid treble, then the Dali range are worth a listen, with the same amp.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
If you're doing both amp and speakers, I would also suggest considering my recently bought speakers (see sig). Around the £1100 mark. If you add the dedicated sub, around £2000, but even with a cheaper sub they sound fantastic (and you will probably need a sub based on your existing speakers), and from the admittedly small range of systems I've heard, you simply won't do better for the money, or in fact quite a bit more. You also get the benefit of less boxes.

They also have a built in DAC, so your "that's another story" can be connected with an optical cable.

And like you, I listen to everything, and these babies simply play it like it is...all is good.

Currently to an Ambient techno album. Earlier to some nu-jazz, some indie prog/post rock and then Holst's Planet suite. I quite like thrash metal and folk music too...AND I like X-factor.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
14
0
Visit site
Hear are a few suggestions:

Leema Pulse (the one on offer) + Spendor SA1
Sugden Mystro + Dynaudio 2/7
Icon Audio Stereo 50 + Focal 807V
Unison Research Unico Primo + Kef Q300
Musical Fidelity + Spendor S3/5R2

I also like the sound of Rega Brio + Harbeth
 

Craig M.

New member
Mar 20, 2008
127
0
0
Visit site
for what you want to listen to, i agree with the adm9.1 suggestion. biggest bargain in hifi, imo. pro audio actives are also well worth checking out, you can get staggering sound quality for relatively little money.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thank you all for your suggestions. Snivilisationism, would I need a phono amplifier with your active speakers?
 

amcluesent

New member
Mar 8, 2009
25
0
0
Visit site
>Any special brand/combination?<

For accousticjazzclassical you need to be thinking Audio Analogue amps and Sonus Faber speakers.

>I was thinking in spending around 1000 pounds for both amplifier and speakers<

Going 2nd hand, that should be enough for an Audio Analogue Puccini SE and pair of Sonus Faber Concertinos with original ironwood stands. You won't do better unless you're dropping £10K new. IMHO obviously.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
As you are using a turntable as a source, you could potentially get fantastic value from a high end amp from the 1970s. Old Pioneers/Yamahas/Sansuis all had very good phono stages (obviously much more important back then) and you can pick up a great amp for £150-300 (or even less if you get lucky). That would increase your speaker budget and give you much more choice.

The only obvious downside is the greater potential for breakdown, so it depends on your views regarding risk and your proximity to someone with the know how to repair any faults quite cheaply. Happy to pass on some further details re specific models if that route appeals.
 

altruistic.lemon

New member
Jul 25, 2011
64
0
0
Visit site
tanchelm said:
Thank you all for your suggestions. Snivilisationism, would I need a phono amplifier with your active speakers?
Those are good questions and just knock the ADMs out of a possible choice for a study system for me.

They only have one analogue input and only allow optical S/PDIF input, not USB or coax. They're designed to work with computer outs more than anything else, apparently.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
altruistic.lemon said:
tanchelm said:
Thank you all for your suggestions. Snivilisationism, would I need a phono amplifier with your active speakers?
Those are good questions and just knock the ADMs out of a possible choice for a study system for me.

They only have one analogue input and only allow optical S/PDIF input, not USB or coax. They're designed to work with computer outs more than anything else, apparently.

No they are designed to work with analogue inputs x1 and optical inputs x2...

ie CD player, SKY box, streamer etc

to the OP...

and yes, a phono stage would be needed, but needn't cost an arm and a leg. I can't help you on that as I don't have a turntable any more. Others would be able to advise you better.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Well, thanks again, now I have an idea where to start.

However, I´m a bit surprised that nobody talked about valve amplifiers. Is it that they won't fit with my question, lack of experience or perhaps wrong forum?
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
Visit site
What's going on with this thread?

Let's have a look at the speaker recommendations so far:

Harbeth P3ESR: tiny speakers with stunted bass and lacklustre dynamics.

AVI ADM 9.1T: tiny speakers with stunted bass and lacklustre dynamics.

Spendor SA1: tiny speakers with stunted bass and lacklustre dynamics.

Focal 807V: tiny speakers with stunted bass and lacklustre dynamics.

Kef Q300: tiny speakers with stunted bass and lacklustre dynamics.

Spendor S3/5R2: tiny speakers with stunted bass and lacklustre dynamics.

Sonus Faber Concertino: tiny speakers with stunted bass and lacklustre dynamics.

Is this some sort of wind up?

Have I wandered into the What Interior Design forum?

If we’re going to limit ourselves to small unobtrusive speakers for interior design purposes a pair of Klipsch Heresys used with the Harmon Kardon amp or even better a decent SET valve amp will give clear, dynamic, open sound for jazz and classical with the downside of having a lean (stunted) bass.

If Tanchelm has the space he could also try Quad ESL 57’s or 63’s for their magical inertia-less transparent midrange. Either with the Harmon Kardon or a push pull valve amp.

For speakers with the same strengths as the Klipsch Heresys, but with more body and timbre for double bass, kettle drums, bass vocals etc then we need to go to larger speakers such as the Altec Model 19’s, EV Sentry III’s, Klipschorns. Again either with the Harmon Kardon or a SET valve amp. A smooth horn speaker such as the EV Sentrys has a way of really nailing the sound of brass instruments.
 

altruistic.lemon

New member
Jul 25, 2011
64
0
0
Visit site
@ snivilisation, that's exactly what I said.

@ tanchelm, I've only heard the Unison Research, Peachtree Audio valve hybrid and the Leben valve amps. Their dynamics are stunning, but the query is the output, which tends to be lower than most class A or class AB amps.

The exception is the hybrids, such as the Unison Research Unico range, which would go well with the Harbeths I mentioned, but the price takes them over your budget.

By the way, I'd go valve if I could afford one with adequate output to drive my speakers - and had the patience to wait for them to warm up!

@lindasyt, oh, not again. Apart from noting your highly biased value judgements and rampant generalisations, we live in different times now. No one wants to live with ugly boxes the size of armchairs in their living rooms any more.

Have you heard any of the speakers you're so quick to criticise, mate?
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
14
0
Visit site
lindsayt said:
What's going on with this thread?

Let's have a look at the speaker recommendations so far:

Harbeth P3ESR: tiny speakers with stunted bass and lacklustre dynamics.

AVI ADM 9.1T: tiny speakers with stunted bass and lacklustre dynamics.

Spendor SA1: tiny speakers with stunted bass and lacklustre dynamics.

Focal 807V: tiny speakers with stunted bass and lacklustre dynamics.

Kef Q300: tiny speakers with stunted bass and lacklustre dynamics.

Spendor S3/5R2: tiny speakers with stunted bass and lacklustre dynamics.

Sonus Faber Concertino: tiny speakers with stunted bass and lacklustre dynamics.

Is this some sort of wind up?

Have I wandered into the What Interior Design forum?

The answers were all appropriate suggestions, given the size of the OP's budget (new). The solution to every speaker enquiry is not necessarily a pair of cumbrous megaliths.....good though they may be. ;)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I see, there are almost as many opinions as audiophiles... what is probably a good thing, if there were a common opinion all sound companies but one would go bankrupt.

@daskeg and whoever may answer: I have a new doubt, how long are these "new" amplifiers expected to last? Has planned obsolescence arrived to Hi-Fi? As I said, I´ve had the HarmanKardon for some 25 years of intense use. Occasionally there were scratchs and disgusting sounds when turning volume or other knobs, but opening the amp, removing the dust and thoroughly cleaning the knobs with a good cleaner solved all my problems. I didn't replace any capacitor, but it still sounds good. Is it still the same with the "new" equipment?
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
14
0
Visit site
tanchelm said:
Well, thanks again, now I have an idea where to start.

However, I´m a bit surprised that nobody talked about valve amplifiers. Is it that they won't fit with my question, lack of experience or perhaps wrong forum?

If you take a closer look at my list, you'll find that the Icon Audio is a Valve Amp and the Unison Research is a Hybrid design (valves at the input stage). The other suggestions were also chosen for their musicality.

I'm a huge fan of Valves and Class A, and feel they are totally appropiate for your taste in music.......just take the list and do a bit of digging about.

Good Luck with your search

Cno
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
To be fair to Lindsay, the OP doesn't indicate what space he is operating in. He may be happy to have huge boxes!

No idea about the expected lifespan of new amps, although I personally doubt huge numbers will be working in 30-40 years.

I think class A is fabulous for jazz based on my own experiences with the Yamaha CA-1000, so definitely worth looking at class A solid state or valves when you audition.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
CnoEvil said:
If you take a closer look at my list, you'll find that the Icon Audio is a Valve Amp and the Unison Research is a Hybrid design (valves at the input stage). The other suggestions were also chosen for their musicality. I'm a huge fan of Valves and Class A, and feel they are totally appropiate for your taste in music.......just take the list and do a bit of digging about. Good Luck with your search Cno

@ CnoEvil: You are absolutely right. I did not see your message when I wrote my last. My apologies.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
daskeg said:
To be fair to Lindsay, the OP doesn't indicate what space he is operating in. He may be happy to have huge boxes!

@daskeg: I have a large room and I can afford relatively large boxes (say max. 1 m high) but I'd prefer to save space if possible. I thought that in my range of price there were no big speakers.
 

altruistic.lemon

New member
Jul 25, 2011
64
0
0
Visit site
Have a look at the Magnepanars. Probably the best of the bunch mentioned so far, but they need space. These are within your price range: http://www.stoneaudio.co.uk They basically put you in the studio with the artist in a way few other speakers can. They're 1.5m high but, as they're panels, not too overwhelming.

But, and it's a definite but, if you want loud then you'll need an amp at the 80 - 100W mark. My Nait (50W) is fine, but I wouldn't want to push it too far.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
tanchelm said:
daskeg said:
To be fair to Lindsay, the OP doesn't indicate what space he is operating in. He may be happy to have huge boxes!

@daskeg: I have a large room and I can afford relatively large boxes (say max. 1 m high) but I'd prefer to save space if possible. I thought that in my range of price there were no big speakers.
There are, but only in the second hand market.
 

TRENDING THREADS