Given your budget, either ADM9 with sub or ADM40.
I have to agree with Overdose here. I think that you owe it to yourself to have a listen to the AVI speakers because you could find the sound that you're after and save yourself a lot of money while you're at it.
I haven't heard the new and improved versions of the ADM9RSS or ADM40 speakers but I have heard the old ADM9.1 speakers and when they're used with the matching AVI subwoofer they're easily on a par with the £10,000 ATC SCM50A speakers.
I had to laugh. I looked at the kit mentioned in the first post and assumed a budget from there.
However, don't get sucked into thinking that you need to spend all that much to get great sound quality.
Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts
Are you sure you want to spend £15000 on amp+sources? You'd be better off subtracting £5000 from that and adding that to your speaker budget. That would put you firmly into the Martin Logan, top Sonus Faber, Wilson Benesch etc range, not to mention entry level Magico and the fabulous Tannoy Prestige range. For actives that puts you into ATC territory with the SCM 50s
Amps and CD player - Unison Research or Audio Analogue. Also Leben valves, but that depends heavily on the speakers you choose. Turntable I'd be thinking Nottingham Analogue.
Alternatively, given you have £20000 to spend, I'd buy an iPhone 5 with a decent set of cans and head off on the trip of a lifetime!
When the enjoyment of music is surely paramout, that's actually not a bad suggestion. Brings the amount that can be spent on hifi into perspective.
My advice would be to demo, demo and demo some more.
With such a healthy budget, you have access to such a wide variety of exotica.
Get round local dealers and see whats about. I would not personally be looking at Cyrus if I had £10k on Source/Amps and £10k on Speakers.
Michell Gyrodec SE / RB300 / Ortofon MC10 Supreme | Sony DVP-S9000ES
Doge 8 | MiniDSP | Decware Zen / Behringer A500
DIY Active Horns / Keesonic Kolt
This forum's a pretty strange place, as you've probably already realized. But once you've dodged the curveballs (AVI) and implications that it's irrational to spend that amount of money on hifi (it's absolutely not irrational, if it's going to bring you pleasure), I hope you stick to your guns and let us know how you get on.
Whereabouts in England are you? I'm sure members of the forum would be able to suggest a list of reliable dealers within reach of you. Also, some dealers may be happy to travel quite long distances to bring kit to you (they're having a pretty hard time of it at the moment.)
What classical music are you listening to?
WIth that sort of budget I would look at B&O.
I'd buy the AVIs. They'll be better than all that £20k stuff mentioned so far.
And, you'll still have £17,000, + more from the sale of your old stuff, left in your budget for going on lemon's world trip.
Not heard these particular versions but they would be one of my first 'must demo' choices if I had that kind of money and a big room....
http://www.stereophile.com/content/spendor-classic-sp100rsup2sup-loudspeaker <---<< really worth reading as the 'listening' section on page 2 resonates with some of the qualities you described.
Despite the Spendor's easy loading (89dB @1 watt/1meter @8 Ohms) I'd be looking at amplifiers with a bit of grunt like the new Yamaha A-S3000 or one of the 'chunkier' Accuphase integrated amps like the E-460 with 180wpc into 8 ohms for instance (.pdf file here) .
The Accuphase has 'option' slots at the back to house DAC cards and/or their AD-20 MM/MC phono board. (Selectable from front panel.)
Marantz M-CR603 + AirPlay • Rega R3 loudspeakers • iPhone 5 • iMac • Apple Airport Extreme 802.11n • Apple iPad Mini • Panasonic TX-L32D25B • Sony BDP-S390 • Ruark Audio R1 Deluxe • Humax HDR-Fox T2
Yep that too. (Although the set-up I heard a few years ago did cost over £11000 for the front pair, you do have the budget and that price did include amplification because they are active speakers.)
With 20k to spend I'd move some of the budget over to the speaker fund. I don't think you need to go to mad with sources. You've got a highly regarded TT, think about pimping that.
The AVI ADM40 might be everything you need, and they certainly need to be on your short list. But your budget is large so B & O are there for you too. Hopefully jmac will see this thread as he knows a lot about B & O.
TV room : Samsung 60" plasma-ATV3, -AVI ADM40,/Sonos ZP90,, Sky using Sonos for On Demand, PS3
HiFi : Sonos ZP90 - AVI ADM9 RSS + AVI SUB
Bedrooms : 2 x Sonos Play 3
IPad Mini for Sonos & Spotify / AKG K551
The Adam Audio Tensor range of speakers may be worth consideration too.
Here's a WHF review of the old Adam Audio Tensor Gamma speakers (which have now been uprated to a Mk.2 version).
PC > AVI Neutron Five 2.1
Sony NWZ-A847 64GB Walkman > Westone UM3x
Wow, this is a far greater response than I had expected.
I live around 20 minutes away from Norwich, but my work takes me all over the UK and obviously I would have no trouble in commuting anywhere in order to demo anything. I certainly have no qualms with increasing the speaker budget if it will get me noticeable gains.
I do have a couple of questions, and you will have to forgive my ignorance here, I understand that active speakers have amplifiers built into the speakers themselves, requiring only a pre-amp and the source, is this correct? What advantage does this have over a passive set-up with both pre and power amplifiers? Further to this, integrated amplifiers have been recommended; does this mean that separate pre and power amplifiers offer no advantages?
Or is all of the above completely subjective to my preferences?
In theory, Active speaker should be better than the comparable Passive, Pre/Power should be better than integrated but at the end of the day, one approach wont be better than the other. Its all in the Implementation rather that the specific design.
I would not get hung up on specific specifications or designs, there are good and bad versions of every type.
Best to hear as much as you can. Hifi shows are agreat way of getting a lot in, although usually in sub-optimal conditions but it can give you a taster of what you might want to shortlist.
I would recommend trying to hear two other approaches, some Open Baffle (Di-Pole) speakers such as Magnepan, Quad ESL, Apogee and such like to hear something different. Also the other way is high efficiency, small/no crossover wide range drivers with low powered SET amplification, another approach to hifi.
I'm curious why you think AVI is a curved ball, needing to be dodged.
Do please note, I don't own anything AVI, nor am I likely to, however, I fully support an active speaker solution to the OP's question and budget.
The harsh technical reality, (and perhaps an unpalatable one for some) is that he's likely to get a techically better, and better matched and balanced system, from tertiary trained experts practicising their craft and science at the highest levels, as against mixing and matching disparate separates, aided by an untrained (but othewise well meaning and profit motivated salesperson) to assist you in hopefully finding a setup that will bring long lasting satisfaction.
Aside from that, it's very much personal preference as to whether you want to build your new car from various third party parts suppliers, or go to the likes of Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Lexus etc, and buy the complete deal designed, engineered, built and matched by the manufacturer from alpha to omega.
IMHO the car analogy is a useful one, as it contrasts the two approaches to hiFi system buying - naturally some people will prefer the mix and match approach, because for them, the mixing and matching IS the hobby - the music appears to be secondary in many cases from the reading I do of how many audiophiles approach building a HiFi system. Fair enough if that is what one wants - but is that what the OP actually wants I wonder?
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