What hifi for listening to Metallica?

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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Hi.

I'm looking at purchasing a new hifi to replace my 15 year old Pioneer, and was wondering if someone could give me some advice as to what specs to look out for or even recommend a hifi to buy.

I only listen to heavy metal, bands like Metallica, Machine Head, Killswitch Engage, Chimaira, so I presume I'm looking for a system that performs very well at mid-range frequencies.

I'm looking for a completely new system, speakers, amp, CD player. I don't really want to spend over £600, but may be convinced into speading a little more if worth it.

I presume the CD player is the least important device, and the amplifier and speakers being the most important devices..., but I don't know if the amp and speakers are equally important, ie. maybe its a matter of getting the speakers right and you cannot go wrong?

I don't really mind if all three devices are separates by different manufacturers, or if the amp and cd are combined in a micro-system. I'd prefer micro system, but the best sound for my budget is the most important thing. Finally, the room the system is going into is only 11ft x 11ft.

Thanks.
 

Clare Newsome

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Jun 4, 2007
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Hi there,

There's a lot of great budget hi-fi at the moment that should suit you well.

One crucial thing, though - the source (ie CD player in this case) is key in any system, certainly not "the least important". The quality you hear from your amp and speakers is only ever as good as the content it's being fed. In polite terms, 'rubbish in, rubbish out'.

Separates will give you much better sound - especially the drive and power your music deserves - than a microsystem.
For CD player, i'd try the Cambridge Audio Azur 540C V2 (£200) - though if you can stretch another £50, it's big brother - the 640C V2 (£250) is more than worth the extra money. Marantz's CD5001 (£170) is also worth a listen.

Amp-wise, the Rotel RA-04 is your best bet - amazing value (and power) for £250. Alternatives are the Cambridge Audio 540A V2 and 640A V2 (£250 and £300).

As for speakers - in the space you're in, standmounts (on decent stands - try Soundstyle's Z2s at £60 as a minimum - you'll hear so much more than if you put them on a shelf) are probably your best bet. Our favourite budget standmounts - Tannoy's Mercury F1 Customs (£110) might be a bit too polite for your music, so try the Q Acoustic 1020 (£130 - very big sound for the money) or Mordaunt Short MS902i (£150 - hugely enthusiastic-sounding) and even Monitor Audio's Bronze BR2 (£200) if you can stretch - a cracking speaker for the cash.

Hope there's enough ideas there - and don't forget interconnects (try Chord's Crimson at £38/pair) and speaker cable (QED Silver Anniversary at £5.50/m).
 

Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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For some reason I'm reminded of this exchange from Good Morning Vietnam:

Cronauer: We're talking out in the field today.
Hi, what's your name?

Caller: My name's Bob Fliber!

Cronauer: Bob, what do you do?

Caller: I'm in artillery!

Cronauer: Thank you, Bob.
Can we play anything for you?

Caller: Anything! Just play it loud! Okay?
 

Thaiman

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Jul 28, 2007
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Hi dude
I am a big fan of metal too. A good metal system is the hardest of all to get right and you really need to spend a lot of money! The CD player need to be smooth but have plenty of attack.....smooth because the earlier metal recording sound thin and bright (ie master of puppets and show no mercy) and the transparant CDP will show that up like a sore thump, just like Clare said above.
For your budget I would certainly go down 2nd hand hifi route but if you can save up a bit more (£400 more!) you can acheive a great metal system.
CD player: Linn Genki, £350 - £400, this player have so much attack and superb timming plus great treble. Joey's Cymbals work on Wait And Bleed is as clear as he is playing in the room with you. it can also go low too you wouldn't get better for the money!
Amp: Exposure 2010 (mot the upgrade "i" version) £300, This amp rock with the capital "R". The bass is a "chest pumpingly good", well extended treble and it's sound more powerful than 50W per ch spec.
The midrange is particularly smooth, while it's not the most honest amp at the price range, the 2010 has a real boogie factor. You can hear Lars double up on his ride in "Until it's sleep" nice and clear.
Speakers: Tannoy sensy DC2 (£300) This handsome floorstand has it's all....bass, soundstage and a midrange to die for. Some may say it's can sound over exciting but for me, with metal music you can't get much better for the price. You do need plenty of room around them though, if you haven't the bass can be a bit too much!
As a cables are concern I would go fer copper rather than silver! (sorry, Clare) Van Damme is only £3 per metre and very good indeed, same go for interconnects, a nice warm sounding cables like Gotham (£10/metre) would be more than good enough.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
At this price point, a quick trip to Richer Sounds will see you right with one of their package deals - £500 gets you the Cambridge 540A V2 amp, the Cambridge 640C v2 CD Player (from their well respected Azur range) and they thrown in the Mordaunt Short 902i speakers for free.

Their City branch in London had an ad in the window a couple of weeks ago that threw in cabling and although I can't recall the brands, it gets you started so you can upgrade when funds allow and may even have been quite decent. Phone them and ask if the deal's still on.

Even if not, you still have £100 to play with, so check out - in addition to previous recommendations - Van den Hul's The Name at about £40 for a 0.8m pair, QEDs Qunex 3 at £35 for a 1m pair are extremely good (currently using both) and QED's anniversary speaker wire as Clare pointed out's a bit of a winner. Decent speaker stands need adding to the mix too.

Secondhand route, I'd probably wait a while and find your feet before going that way; Ebay's got some good deals, but I'd avoid that until you're happier knowing what to look out for and what to avoid!

New, you obviously get a warranty whilst some dealers will offer one for secondhand gear, but go to a reputable one (try members of BADA - the British Audio Dealers Association) then cosy up and see what they'll do for your budget. You never know - you might not get a Genki or the Exposure above, but you might walk off with something not far off it!

Best advice though - GIGO - garbage in, garbage out, you can have the best speakers going, but this is one case where a sow's ear really won't become a silk purse if the source element's a load of old swill!
 

Thaiman

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Jul 28, 2007
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Oh, I disagree my friend. MS 902i wouldn't have an impact that essential in a good metal system and it the combo with Cambridge audio would be bright enough to strip paint!!! (not to mention a QED SA silver....bright, harsh, thinny etc) The Genki and Expoure are are easy enough to find 2nd hand and if the rock dude need help I would be happy to point them out. Many people make a mistake buying an cheapish system that all have 5 stars awards, some work well together and some wouldn't all IMHO
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Fair points and I agree, but the budget is what the budget is!

I'd have to admit to having a sneaky quiet desire to hear a pair of Cerwin Vega's (what happened to those guys?!) let rip with a slice of Motorhead for afternoon tea. :-D

Fair enough, I maybe put my idea of a good sound on that list - I like well defined, bright and crystal clear noise but there'd be enough thump to keep things ticking over. The VdH wire's helps keep things on the right lines too. Very dynamic cable.

Thinking about it though, I'm making the basic error that all secondhand dealers sell only pricey gear; there's one of the older Denon amps (thinking along PMA-350 lines here) that served up wallop aplenty for a wallet friendly price. An Arcam Alpha 7 or 8 would give some kick too. A bit warmer at that and could be had for a song today.
 

Thaiman

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Jul 28, 2007
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spotty, If you wanna talk to me about cables we might have 10 pages thread for the first time here! People make such a big deal about cables make a "BIG" improvement on sound like you just mention VDH. I have gone through many cables in my hifi life, when I say "many" I mean from Cambridge audio (tenner ones that they like to give you for free when you buy their gears) all the way up to cardas and Kondo. My conclusion to Hifi cables is although they made the hifi sound different, many are not worthy of their price tag. Some system sound better with copper and some may prefer silver (non of my hifi system like QED SA silver btw) and some you can't hear a damn bit different!
Next time when you are have a cables upgrade fever, go to the dealer choose a few of the ones you fancy and ask him to connect them up (and change one to another) when you OUTSIDE the listening room, that way you will not be influence by "reviews", "apperance" and pushy dealer try to sell you the best mark up pair.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Couldn't agree more; cabling's a bit of bad science to my understanding and seeing the prices of some makes me laugh - I can justify to myself the £50 for the VdH wire I mentioned, but beyond that I'd need some serious justification and I'm not convinced by much of it or what I've heard.

If I was going to spend £10k on my system, would I be spending 10% of that on wires? Nae chance!! £200 all in maybe - speaker wire included - as an absolute max and then we'd spend the other £800 on the music. Or something to keep Mrs t_r_s happy at any rate....

Oddly enough, I got my previous cable (Audioquest Turquoise) for free when I bought my speakers! The QED's I have are good value right now though, doing the business and only about £30.
 

Thaiman

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Jul 28, 2007
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At this very moment I am using Kystal Kables sterling 2 and a cheap pair of Kimber Kables PBJ speakers cables (excuse about all the "K" I think the cables designer's keyboard has a "c" missing on his pad) I also like TCI and DMN for a different reson :).
 

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