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Nicky-Distance's picture
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Vinyl-only system
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Well, the moment has finally come! I've saved up for a very very very long time and now I am in the the position to get myself a new setup after over 12 years of listening to records on thrown-together, used hand-me-downs. I was wondering if there are any other vinyl enthusiasts who could possibly point me in the right direction as I'm going to start from scratch. I have read tons of reviews, gone through loads of forums, but I'd love to hear some opinions specifically about vinyl. I'll start by answering some of the usual questions:

Budget: £2200 - £2500 

Type of music: Mainly soul, Modern Indie, New Wave, Electronic, Alternative, Grunge. Occasionally Jazz, Classical, Classic Rock, Prog. Seldomly Folk, Acoustic, Country, Singer-Songwriter.

Format: Mainly vinyl. I work in a record shop and I own and have access to lots of great second hand records. I may also use the set-up for an occasional film and although it's normally reserved for the commute to work, I may use Spotify to preview albums. 

Size of room: 5m x 6m. When listening I'll probably be 3-4M away from the speakers.

Room decoration: Quite minimal, far from lush with no cushions, carpeting, etc. Just two small couches, and a table. (I am going to decorate my   sitting  room with sound)

Wife or other restrictions: None. Girlfriend said I can do whatever I want. We'll see how long that lasts  : :poke:

The sound I like: I like sound that would be punchy with a good amount of clarity and ability to single out the intricacies of the instruments. I would like the recordings to be represented well, allowing the superior albums to rise to the top.

Usual listening volume: Medium to loud, never soft. 

Previous systems: Probably the best set-up I ever had was a Technics SU 810 integrated amp ( http://www.audio4maniacs.co.uk/technicssu810.html), Technics SL1200 MK3D, Monstorous Sansui speakers (don't know the number, but they were over a meter tall and heavy as hell), Stanton Discmaster Cartridge & D3 Stylus.

I'm in a bit of a predicament because I am in rural Ireland and although there seem to be a couple showrooms in Dublin, neither of them seem to have what I would be considering buying all together in one spot. There's gonna be some blind purchasing at some point. For instance, I am deciding between the Pro-Ject Carbon Esprit SE, Xperience or the Rega RP3, but I am only able to find one dealer that sells the Rega, but nothing else. I am also interested in the Arcam FMJ A19, but nobody seems to have it in stock here. Any suggestions? Here's a full list of what I am considering in speakers: KEF LS50's, Monitor Audio Silver Rx6, Dynaudio DM3/7, Rega Rs5. Turntables: Listed above. Amps: Denon PMA720AE, Rega Brio R, Arcam FMJ A19.

Sorry if this is turning into a novel. I just don't really know how to proceed to get the right working combination. Should I just get the KEF's because everyone across the board seems to rave about them and use those as a starting point? Also, if you have any other Amp ideas or info as to whether or not I should get a phono stage, I am open to any suggestions. Cheers in advance. 

 

Nicky

 

chebby's picture
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RE: Vinyl-only system

Get a working Thorens TD 160 (or 166) from ebay and send it off to Inspire Hi-fi for their Thorens upgrade package. (Add £120 to get a Rega RB251 arm fitted).

More here...

http://www.inspirehifi.co.uk/thorens.html

Rega Brio R or new Creek 50A or Naim Nait 5i (plus Rega Fono-Mini phono pre-amp ).

You should still have enough left for some of the speaker options you listed and even more if you shop around for some good ex-demo options.

I would go for a Naim Nait 5i + Rega RS5s.

 

 

 

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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RE: Vinyl-only system

Hello again.

There are some good dealers in Ireland, but you may not get what you are looking for in one store and may need to come North.

I am very familiar with two of the best dealers (Kronos and Lyric) here and am aware of the third, so if I can be of any help, just shout:

- http://www.cloneystore.com/

- http://www.lyrichifi.com/

- http://www.kronosav.com/

- http://www.ardhowenhifi.com/

Rega, Arcam, Linn, Naim and Kef can all be heard at Lyric Hifi, so a phone call to Michael would set up a demo....it could well be worth the round trip

Kronos also have a good selection of the lesser known, but very musical kit (Musical Fidelity, Electrocompaniet, Peachtree, Spendor, Focal etc)

Ardhowen do brands like Sugden, Project and Croft

Good Luck with it all

Cno

 

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Vinyl-only system

chebby wrote:

Get a working Thorens TD 160 (or 166) from ebay and send it off to Inspire Hi-fi for their Thorens upgrade package. (Add £120 to get a Rega RB251 arm fitted).

More here...

http://www.inspirehifi.co.uk/thorens.html

Rega Brio R or new Creek 50A or Naim Nait 5i (plus Rega Fono-Mini phono pre-amp ).

You should still have enough left for some of the speaker options you listed and even more if you shop around for some good ex-demo options.

I would go for a Naim Nait 5i + Rega RS5s.

 

 

 

Cheers Chebby. I've bought a few 2nd hand TT's from eBay and from previous experiences people don't really seem to pack them right or the courier tosses the box around and I would hate for something to happen to it en route to Inspire Hi-Fi. More times than not it costs more to send stuff back over to the UK than what the item is worth. I'll keep my eyes peeled for a cheap enough Thorens, because it seems like it could be worth the risk. 

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RE: Vinyl-only system

CnoEvil wrote:

Hello again.

There are some good dealers in Ireland, but you may not get what you are looking for in one store and may need to come North.

I am very familiar with two of the best dealers (Kronos and Lyric) here and am aware of the third, so if I can be of any help, just shout:

- http://www.cloneystore.com/

- http://www.lyrichifi.com/

- http://www.kronosav.com/

- http://www.ardhowenhifi.com/

Rega, Arcam, Linn, Naim and Kef can all be heard at Lyric Hifi, so a phone call to Michael would set up a demo....it could well be worth the round trip

Kronos also have a good selection of the lesser known, but very musical kit (Musical Fidelity, Electrocompaniet, Peachtree, Spendor, Focal etc)

Ardhowen do brands like Sugden, Project and Croft

Good Luck with it all

Cno

 

 

That's great, thanks for the info CNO. I'm gonna give Cloney a shout and see what I can do regarding organising a trip up to Lyric. As I'm a beginner to purchasing Hi-Fi, is it common to find everything you're looking for with one dealer or is it normally piecing it together from different outfits depending on the brands they stock (and obviously price)? I like the idea of going to one place for all my needs, but that probably isn't realistic if you want to get the best possible. Cheers man. 

 

Anybody else have any recommendations or suggestions to assist me on any kit that they'd stand by for a vinyl system? 

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RE: Vinyl-only system

Nicky-Distance wrote:

chebby wrote:

Get a working Thorens TD 160 (or 166) from ebay and send it off to Inspire Hi-fi for their Thorens upgrade package. (Add £120 to get a Rega RB251 arm fitted).

More here...

http://www.inspirehifi.co.uk/thorens.html

Rega Brio R or new Creek 50A or Naim Nait 5i (plus Rega Fono-Mini phono pre-amp ).

You should still have enough left for some of the speaker options you listed and even more if you shop around for some good ex-demo options.

I would go for a Naim Nait 5i + Rega RS5s.

 

 

 

Cheers Chebby. I've bought a few 2nd hand TT's from eBay and from previous experiences people don't really seem to pack them right or the courier tosses the box around and I would hate for something to happen to it en route to Inspire Hi-Fi. More times than not it costs more to send stuff back over to the UK than what the item is worth. I'll keep my eyes peeled for a cheap enough Thorens, because it seems like it could be worth the risk. 

Indeed. My Garrard came damaged so I decided to drive and collect the Thorens. Couriers (and on occasions senders) can be useless.

I also see you had/have a Technics SL1200. There are numerous ways of improvng on this apparently very good basic TT too so perhaps worth going down that route.

regards

 

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RE: Vinyl-only system

@ Drummerman    

Unfortunately that SL1200 is long gone. It was easily the nicest turntable I've ever owned. 

 

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RE: Vinyl-only system

I believe that.

I think there are some NOS units with one of the modifiers still but can't remember who it was unfortunately. - If I had the money thats probably where I'd put it, perhaps with an SME but we are talking over £2k.

Short of that, chebby's suggestion of using an Inspire upgrade to a s/h Rega or Thorens makes sense too. Another TT that looks nice and has been reviewed well is Clearaudio's Concept at just over £1000.

regards

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RE: Vinyl-only system

I'd go for Naim or NAD plus Neat floor standers. Turntable I'd think either the Rega or the Pro-ject, but with an upgraded cartridge like the entry level Dynavectors. 

 

I'm assuming the budget is for the enitre system, so would spend most on the speakers and turntable.

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RE: Vinyl-only system

Nicky-Distance wrote:

That's great, thanks for the info CNO. I'm gonna give Cloney a shout and see what I can do regarding organising a trip up to Lyric. As I'm a beginner to purchasing Hi-Fi, is it common to find everything you're looking for with one dealer or is it normally piecing it together from different outfits depending on the brands they stock (and obviously price)? I like the idea of going to one place for all my needs, but that probably isn't realistic if you want to get the best possible. Cheers man. 

Anybody else have any recommendations or suggestions to assist me on any kit that they'd stand by for a vinyl system? 

There is another "old school" dealer called Moores (Newtownards): http://mooreshifi.co.uk/

They do brands like Creek, Naim, Spendor, Project and Proac.

With the motorway, Dublin to Belfast is under 2 Hours.

Belfast to Dungannon (Kronos) is about 1 Hour

Belfast to Enniskillen (Ardhowen) is about 1.5 Hrs

Belfast to Newtownards is half an hour (Moores)

I have heard the LS50s, and you are right to put them high on your list.

Let us know how you get on, and I have no doubt that you will be able to put a good system together from these dealers....as they all have customer service and satisfaction at their heart, rather than making a quick buck.

 

 

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Vinyl-only system

 

 

You could buy the AVI ADM 9RS/RSS, which are active speakers containing: remote controlled pre-amp, power amps matched to the speakers with DAC as well.  They have 1 analogue and 2 optical inputs and mains and connecting cables.  They are stand-mount and go very loud without ever getting congested and incoherent.  I have an earlier model [they have been improved, particularly in the bass dept.] and they will fill your room easily and although seen as digital source speakers they are equally loved by vinyl junkies.

This will leave you approximately £1000 to spend on your vinyl source and there have been suggestions about this already.  You would need a phono amp but this can all be done within budget.  

Best of luck, your budget will allow excellent vinyl enjoyment, particularly if you go for the AVI ADM 9RS/RSS system.

:cheers:

Apple lossless - Netgear Nighthawk - ATV3 - AVI ADM 40.  

AVI ADM 9T used in my wife's system

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RE: Vinyl-only system

Do you know a dealer in Ireland, relocated, so he can compare with the other, and it has to be said there are many, options?

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RE: Vinyl-only system

altruistic.lemon wrote:

Do you know a dealer in Ireland, relocated, so he can compare with the other, and it has to be said there are many, options?

I'm sure Max would oblige for a listen to AVI.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Vinyl-only system

I think Chebby's suggestion to consider Inspire HiFi is excellent; you could consider their own TTs as well as their upgrades.
Also, get a Graham Slee phono preamp. They are superb. Check out his owners club forum.

"Inspired" Manticore Mantra TT, Technics SL-7 TT, Graham Slee Reflex M phono preamp.  Cyrus CD8SE.  iMac, Raspberry Pi c/w HiFiBerry Digi c/w Volumio or Rune Audio, Arcam rDAC.  Roksan Kandy LIII amp, Spendor A5 speakers.

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RE: Vinyl-only system

If you want high volume in that room size I would look at some more powerful amps like the Roksan Kandy K2 which is about £700, esp. with speakers like the LS50s, check out phono stages on amps as well. For some of your music not sure the Arcam would be the best choice, if could try the new Creek 50A which is getting very good reviews and beat the ARcam in a group test in another hifi mag.

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RE: Vinyl-only system

CnoEvil wrote:

altruistic.lemon wrote:

Do you know a dealer in Ireland, relocated, so he can compare with the other, and it has to be said there are many, options?

I'm sure Max would oblige for a listen to AVI.

I'm sure he would! The problem is the comparison.

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