Advice for new startup kit on reggae / Dancehall. Help please.
I have a complicated case to submit. I live in DRCongo where I obviously don't have the chance to try components out, and have to buy from the internet as I need the 3x payment facility some French sites offer when ordering by visa card.
While I spend a LOT of time listening to music, I've mostly done this using 2.1 sets, the latest being the Focal XS, which died out on me a couple of months back. As replacement, I am thinking to dive into the hi-fi world for the first time, but have a few questions.
I listen to 70% reggae, 20% dancehall, and 10% other stuff from opera to French music. But the main kinds really are reggae and Dancehall. This requires some decent and well controlled bass, as well as clarity in the voices, at least these are the 2 things that usually catch my ear when listening to reggae. Mids also need to be decently present for the guitar riffs. My main source is digital downloaded from the itunes store, as CDs are hard to find where I live, but if I start a hi-fi system I am planning to gradually go back to CDs where I can. First question would be:
- Is there a serious gain in sound quality between powered A5 speakers and an entry level amp + speaker set? In digital music and from CD source?
Next becomes more technical. I've spent HOURS reading reviews and managed to limit my selection (mainly linked to budget and reviews), but none of the tests were made listening to reggae kind of music, so I am not sure which way to go. The speakers that caught my attention are the following (I am not planning to get a sub, I don't like the balance they usually have):
- KEF Q300
- MA BR2
- MA RX2 (if really MUCH nicer given price tag)
- MA BX5 (if really MUCH better given space taken, smaller speakers would be nuch easier for me to carry back home)
- Dali Zensor 5 (same as for BX5)
- B&W 686
As for the amps, the one I've seen in my budget for pairing with the amp I'd settle for are:
- NAD C326BEE
- NAD C356BEE
- Marantz PM6004
- Yamaha S500 or 700
Which combination do you think would be best for long reggae/dancehall listening sessions at medium level, without sometime a little high level craziness if I feel like throwing a couple of dance steps? Also, if you could advise me on cabling for the suggested kit it would help a LOT as I am really a newbie to hi-fi, as you probably understood reading me :)