How do you want to access iTunes ? You can attach a DAC to your computer but why not go wireless with a Squeezebox Touch, that has a pretty good DAC.
The Rega system with the RS3 should be a good start. But as you are a musician surely a lot of systems really might not be adequate for you.
If you would go for stand mounts on a good pair of stands, I'd really consider the new AVI ADM9s. Available from AVI direct with worldwide shipping for £1375. Hopefully a demo near you might be available. Nothing I've had comes anywhere close to these speakers.
Attach the SBT via optical. Then a TT and phono stage and you're sorted. Worth considering.
TV room : Samsung 60" plasma-ATV3, Denon DBP2012UD-Yamaha RXV3067-AVI ADM9RSS,MA RSW12,/Sonos ZP90 via optical, Sky+ HD & Sky Connector, PS3
HiFi : Sonos ZP90 - AVI ADM40
Bedrooms : 2 x Sonos Play 3
Ipad for Sonos & Spotify
Thank you all so much for the suggestions on everything! I'm glad you mentioned audiogon.com because there isn't much used equipment around where I am.
The room is just on the small side of medium, rectangular with a vaulted ceiling. I will be moving and I'll find a place with a medium size dedicated living room. More likely I'll find a flat with a living room that I convert into my studio and put the stereo in there.
Would Vienna Acoustics or Rega speakers approach the description of the sound I am after paired with a good amplifier? I'm overwhelmed by the amount of speaker companies. I figured you all might know the character of their speakers and might be able to help me focus on a few companies. I think I will go bookshelf, as I'd rather get higher quality and lose a little bass. I don't think I'll lose fullness of sound in a smaller area
I'd also recommend checking out the new AVI ADM9T's.
Formerly known as Ooh, Boots, etc etc...
Laptop... HTC One X....ATV3....ADM9Ts...Two German Shorthaired Pointers...
Carmelo S - For fullness of sound, paired with excellent portrayal of textures and instrumental and vocal timbres, try the PMC DB1i speakers paired with the Arcam A18. It is an excellent combination, particularly for jazz, classical and acoustic music, but very capable with most genres. It also offers the opportunity to upgrade by adding an Arcam power amp later on.
Rega RP3/Elys 2 >> Cambridge Audio 540P phono stage, Squeezebox Touch >> optical input on Denon RCD-M39DAB >> Q Acoustics 2020i. Beyer Dynamic DT770PRO
If your now looking at bookshelfs i'd suggest going down the solid state route rather than the valve one. In general bookshelfs are less efficient and harder to drive, this equates to more watts and more current from an amp, probably more than valves can give. I'm not sure why that is the case and exceptions to the rule can be found, your just reducing your options going with valves and bookshelfs.
Saying that your room could well take floorstanders, medium sized, i'm guessing around 3x4 meters? That would be big enough.
yeah if that is the minimum square metres then I'll be fine.
There is a place about 50 minutes away from me that has a rega rp1 brio-r and rs3 setup with a DAC too, I think I'm going to go there and listen so I can have a hi fi system to base considerations on, most of the hi fi quality dealings I've had have been recording in the studio on smaller setups
Yes, John, unfortunately for this matter I am currently located in the states.
You lucky lucky git!
I can think of no country in the world that is better for buying great sounding hi-fi at reasonable prices.
I live in the UK and a lot of my hi-fi shopping in recent years has been from US eBay. From a hi-fi point of view I wish I lived in the States to pick up Craiglslist, hi-fi forum and garage sale bargains - on top of the eBay ones.
Speakers: look out for classics from Altec, Bozak, EV, JBL, Klipsch, Magnepan, Martin Logan. They all produced some great sounding speakers. Buy whatever you come across first that's at an iresistable price. Amps from the Sony ES / Elite, Pioneer Exclusive, Onkyo Integra, Sansui AU-9xxx, Kenwood Lxx ranges (they generally come with good quality built-in phono amplification). Or possibly a Krell or Mark Levinson classic. TT's: a good direct drive from towards the top end of a Japanese manufacturers range from the 1970's to 1980's, fitted with a nice new Denon 110 or 103 cartridge (to keep the budget down).
I totally disagree with anyone that says you should prioritise your dollars in any particular way as it all depends what you can find for what price.
I don't agree with all these recommendations for UK made kit for someone living in the States. It's like a Parisian asking where they should go for a top quality meal and being advised to go to a pub with a carvery when they could be advised to go to the Georges V.
Wow.. By now you might have alreeady realised how lucky you are. I just want to move to USA for few years just to enjoy the HiFi at such brilliant bargain prices
Anyways.. I have recently got to know this website http://stereomojo.com/
You might be knowing them already. Please have a look at it as they have categories for various price ranges.
I am very intrigued with Tekton M-Lore speakers and where ever I read, there are only great reviews and they are at such a great price. Give it a look.
I would look at used amps as generally they work alright for longer times and there is not so much new technology that has come into Class A/B amplification.
DAC might be the most tricky one but most of the sound that you hear will be the character of the loudpseaker (majorly) and partly the amplifier and very minorly the DAC (Ofcourse, if amp and speaker are transparent / resolving then you hear the DAC qualities more but I would say it is less likely)
Please try to audition before you buy or atleast buy from the shops that accept returns.
Though not related but I bought a DAC (Grant Fidelity TubeDAC) - great price and great reviews. However the transformer hums like crazy. Well, atleast I am used to kit where the transformers do not make sound (NONE)
Grant Fidelity offers no returns but only repairs if they think that the product is defective but the shipping needs to be borne by the buyer. So it would be a night mare to ship back from this side of the Pond only to figure out I paid even more money to get to know that Transformer hum is normal for them.
As is, I sold it for half price in a week's time and that is the end of that story. May be I am too picky and some are more resilient to such minor challenges but it is good to know, I guess!
So please be aware of these potential challenges and keep the exit options open
My System |
HiFi: Oppo BDP-105 | Jolida JD-1501BRC | AG Strada | B&W 608 | Toshiba-46TL933G
HT: Sony BDP-S790 | Marantz SR6006 | Wharfedale DX-1 7.1 | Sony-55EX725
When buying used gear, how does one know if it will be compatible together, and even at that sound good together? especially online
I would recommend good high quality neutral source and amps (as most should be) and choose speakers to your taste. As long as the amp has enough power for the speakers you'll be fine.
The main potential problem is if you go for a valve amp, you need valve-friendly speakers with high sensitivity.
If you do get something you don't like/doesn't match, the beauty of used gear bought at a good price means that you can just move it on without much (if any) loss.
You can buy what's arguably great components. But that doesn't mean that they can or will work together. The AVIs I recommended earlier have DAC, AMP & speakers in one unit all designed to work together without the hit & miss nature of matching components.
One way to guarantee a bad match is to just buy a bunch of 5 star rated components...
Usually budget gear that sounds "impressive" will excel in particular areas and be flawed in others, and thus arises the problem of "matching" where folks attempt to balance out the compromises made by each piece of equipment.
Not really sure what to suggest, probably a TT like the Rega RP3, the RP1 I don't think will give you what you're after. You can also get good Chinese valve amps from the likes of Ming Da or Eastern Electric for not a crazy amount of money.
The solid state amp recommended by Matthewpiano is what I have, highly recommended if you can get one within your budget and it has a decent phono stage built-in as well. For a lower budget, think big old Japanese amps as suggested.
Then hunt around for bargain second hand speakers locally, if you have the source/amp people will be able to advise on the match, or just try a couple.
Digital music generally sounds terrible unless you take care. But with a good DAC, even Spotify can sound pretty stunning.
It does? Are you sure about that? Really sure? I mean, like the same kind of sure you had with how-bad-the-iPod-sounded sure?
See I've listened to music for decades and for most of that time, it was without a non-digital source. So I thought I knew how good music sounded. What did I know. My LPs are but gone barring a few to go on Ebay. My turntable will be going on Gumtree soon. This leaves me with digital.
Your digital content these days is excellent. Whether or not an album's recorded badly is another matter and somebody else's "fumbled the ball". Digital content, well recorded and well mastered, is excellent and all o fmy favourite classic recordings are to be found on CD.
I use Spotify Premium too and it's excellent too. So, I would take these opinions with a pinch of salt (not just Kevin's above, but many like it "out there").
Onkyo TX-NR818 / Tannoy Revolution DC4 / Marantz SA7001-KI
As you are a musician I am sure you will be able to appreciate (and therefore demand in hifi performance) realsitic music reproduction capability.
With today's level of gear the differences in sound between playback devices are miniscule and not worth worrying about so choose these on functionality, convenience of interface/control and styling to your taste and try to avoid unnecessary clutter of boxes. For sound quality, concentrate on speakers, chose carefully and spend more here.
For speakers, strongly consider active desings (as these are, other things being equal, have advantages by desing and can save on box count). The already suggested AVI ADM9 are excellent and have additional benefit of incorporating a DAC, remote preamp and multiple inputs - an ideal candidate for your requirement and buget, actually. Alternatively, consider Adam Audio Artist 3, Artis 5 or Artist 6.
For sources, consider Squeezebox Touch, Sonos or other compact and functional streamers.
System here http://www.whathifi.com/forum/your-system/my-dream-system-oh-maybe-one-day
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