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Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

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mepu06's picture
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Hi, I'm new here... I discovered this forum doing some research as I am about to upgrade my very, very old stereo (20 yrs old!).

My initial idea was to go for a amp & cd player Teac CR-700 with a Bose Acoustimass 5 system. However, after a good use of the search function in this site, I am tempted to go a completely different way and choose the Marantz combo (PM6004+CD6004), possibly with the Rotel RA-10 as an alternative to the PM6004. In terms of speakers, I am thinking of BX2.

However I still have a few questions left unanswered and would really appreciate your thoughts...

1. The Teac + Bose vs. Rotel/Marantz + BX2 comparison... they are such different alternatives I find it hard to decide. Is the second option much better in terms of quality? Is Bose really just a "lifestyle" speaker system, whose quality does not match the price & hype? Or is it really good and just a bit snobbed because of its "lifestyle appeal"?

2. If I go for the Rotel amp, does it work well with the Marantz CD6004 or should I go for a different cd player too?

3. Finally, is it worth upgrading the speakers from BX2 to RX1?

Oh, for info, I live in a small(ish) flat so obviously there's a limit to the volume I can use and the very old stereo I'm about to dump is Technics SU600 amp + SL-P177A cd player with AR Red Box II speakers...

thank you very much!

CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

My suggestion would be to go for a Rega system: Apollo R + Brio R + RS 1 / RS3

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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

Have a look at the Dynaudio Xeo 3 and consider a Bluray player for disc playback. The same would appy to the ADM9RS. If you already own a CD/DVD or Bluray player, no real need to buy a dedicated CD player.

The ADMs have increased in price and product performance since the linked to review.

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mepu06's picture
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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

Thanks to both!

The idea of buying vs not buying a dedicated cd player is interesting... do you think they have evolved a lot in terms of quality and technology, compared to the old models such as the one I have? I would have thought not so much (just talking about the cd player here)...

 

thanks

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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

Things always evolve and improvements are made, but these days, digital sources do not really vary too much in the way they sound, far more emphasis should be placed on the speakers and amplification and this part of the system needs to be treated as a whole, so active speakers such as those mentioned are an ideal solution in my opinion. More money will give you better build quality and features, but not necessarily better sound quality.

Differing opinions exist however, so it is best to hear this for yourself. Bare in mind, that when using the speakers that I mentioned, both have internal DACs, so whatever digital source you connect, you have the option of using either the internal speaker DAC or the DAC from the source.

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relocated's picture
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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

If I had your budget I would buy a pair of active AVI ADM 9RS/RSS and use any disc spinner that you have that has an optical out.  Buying AVI ADMs was the best money I have ever spent in 40 years of hi-fi.  As has been said, it is an almost complete system - speakers, amps, pre-amps, DAC, remote and power and interconnect cables, just add your source.

You won't be disappointed, I'm sure.

beauty, eh

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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

Another vote for the Xeos.

Going to hear a dem with a mate next weekend - quite excited! He's going back to Oz so the ADMs aren't an option.

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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

With that sort of budget, why don't you keep the CD player (as long as it is still working ok) and go the streaming route? 

If you like the Rotel amplifier, try the RA12 - its more powerful, remote controlled, and has a high quality onboard DAC, into which you can plug in various digital as well as the usual analogue sources. If your current CD player has a digital output, you can plug it in digitally, and you could pick up a Sonos Connect and plug that into the Rotel digitally too and stream your music you have stored on a NAS drive. The Sonos will also give you access to Internet radio, and if you subscribe, the likes of Spotify, Napster and Last.FM too, as well as other music streaming services.

I make that about £1k give or take, and the rest you can spend on speakers. 

If you really want to save a bit of money, you could buy a normal HDD drive and plug it into the USB input on the front of the RA12 and not bother with the Sonos. A normal HDD drive will be a little cheaper, and you'll save about £280 on the Sonos box. An RA12 and a HDD drive will set you back about £650, which again, you can spend the remainder on speakers.

If you're not interested in streaming at all, you can still look at amplifiers with built in DACs like the RA12 and Pioneer A70 and plug your current CD player in digitally. 

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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

It really depends what you want to use your system for, what kind of sound you like, and whether or not you want a "simple" setup, with as few boxes as possible, or want to have some interaction with your system - that'll give you a series of options and you can decide from there.  

For me, I like the flexibility separates offer you, and sound quality for relatively little money - even less than your budget if you shop around or go secondhand - can be excellent.

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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

Audiolab have some award winning equipment, the 8200CDQ is a CD player with pre-amp, DAC and digital inputs.

http://www.audiolab.co.uk/ProductDetail.aspx?lang=En&Tab2=8200CDQ

You could combine this with some active speakers for a neat little system.

Finding active speakers that look good in the home might prove tricky - perhaps B&O?

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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

byakuya83 wrote:

Audiolab have some award winning equipment, the 8200CDQ is a CD player with pre-amp, DAC and digital inputs.

http://www.audiolab.co.uk/ProductDetail.aspx?lang=En&Tab2=8200CDQ

You could combine this with some active speakers for a neat little system.

Finding active speakers that look good in the home might prove tricky - perhaps B&O?

 

Not a problem at all with the AVI ADM 9RS/RSS.  Stand mount boxes, the finish of which, on my piano black gloss, is exceptional.

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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

Or for balance, the Xeo 3s. Wink

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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

Two very good suggestions.  I cannot think of anything else for around a similar price.

Maybe someone can chip in with some worthwhile alternatives?

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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

Genelec's lovely 8040a active is also a rather lovely, and somewhat sleeker option too methinks (IMO only I should add, beauty in the eye of the beholder and all that).  Connection is by balanced XLR (or unbalanced but with care when connecting up!), so you'd need to obtain a rather easily obtainable adapter.  Of course, they'll blow most of your budget, but £150 will get you a Teac UD-H01 DAC from Richer Sounds, simply hook up your CDP via optical (or coax) and then a set of balanced XLRs thereon to the Gennies.  Sit back, enjoy...

 

If the 8040's break the bank to much, the 8030a at around £850 should get you on your way too.  You could then get the audiolab pre-amp (or similar, there's a stack to choose from now) and it comes with XLR connectivity too,.  Job also done.  The Gennies also come in their standard granite (aka - grey!) finish too, which is also rather smart.  If you want something that's bang up to date, well constructed, with a contemporary finish do check them out.  Here's a place that'll do you a 14-day money back guarantee for your trouble on the 8040s:-

http://www.dawsons.co.uk/genelec-8040a-studio-monitor-speaker-single

Dawsons have the 8040 on sale at £699 per speaker, down from £800-odd.  That's not a bad deal for the quality of speaker you're buying.  I've heard them and they're simply effortless.  

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Overdose's picture
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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

the record spot wrote:

Genelec's lovely 8040a active is also a rather lovely, and somewhat sleeker option too methinks (IMO only I should add, beauty in the eye of the beholder and all that).  Connection is by balanced XLR (or unbalanced but with care when connecting up!), so you'd need to obtain a rather easily obtainable adapter.  Of course, they'll blow most of your budget, but £150 will get you a Teac UD-H01 DAC from Richer Sounds, simply hook up your CDP via optical (or coax) and then a set of balanced XLRs thereon to the Gennies.  Sit back, enjoy...

I can't fault the speakers or the DAC, but be aware that the TEAC DAC has a fixed line out, so could not be used as a preamp.

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the record spot's picture
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RE: Advice Amp+CD+speakers £ 1300-1500

Other options are available (e.g. Audiolab M-DAC and the 8030a instead).  :)

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Onkyo TX-NR818 / Tannoy DC4 speakers / Marantz UD-7007

AVI Lab Series & Marantz CD63 MkII KI CD players / various cables