Sell what you have for as much as you can get.
Visit a competent dealer and listen to some systems.
Buy the one you like.
Do not rely on others to choose a system for you.
I'm quoting this to bring it back to the OP's attention. Its good advice.
I have to agree. This seems like very sensible advice to me.
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Good luck with that. Most hi-fi shops don't exactly 'dare to be different' either. (I am trying to stop using the word 'dealer' in favour of 'shop'. I don't buy beef from a 'meat dealer'.)
They do exist though..........
Look long and hard. Most dealers sell the usual suspects, the ones that don't come with the ticket price to match and while they have their place, are we surprised that an ex-dealer is going to advocate just walking in and buying after a couple of hours demo with what's in the shop? You'll need a bit more than that I think if you want to avoid the usual suspects Dave mentions.
Dealers I'd be looking at would be the like of Emporium HiFi or Big Ears Audio. High street ones I wouldn't go near without a shortlist of speakers to hand first. Chebby was on the money here.
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You won't get an argument from me.......if it's worth doing well, it's worth putting the time and effort in.
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Not looking for one Cno, I just question the logic really. Baby and bathwater and all that.
Arcam 'house' sound can be snooze-making when partnered with middle-of-the-road speakers (been there with Arcam/B&W )
If you want bass and punch, have a listen to active speakers.
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Fairly new to all this, but here goes my two pence worth..
I have a Arcam 10, with Kef R100's. Unless there is a fault with your amp, I very much doubt it is the problem, as it produces the most gorgeous sound - deep, rich, crisp, detailed, 'juicy' - I sit listening for hours just captivated by how great it sounds. The bass on the R100's is surprisingly good given the size of speaker.
Then I stumbled across a secondhand pair of Roksan TR5's at a price that I'd easily get if I re-sold them, so I though 'why not'? So I'm experimenting with them, and I think I like them even more. A bit more 'get up and go' about them somehow, more forward, energetic. Big smile.
So I find the A 10 is fine by itself - they sell for good money - c£300, so are in demand still. I have found dealers to be very variable in helpfulness, especially at my budget end of the market, and also tend to have limited range. So my advice would be to cash in the power amp, which also go for good money, and go for a speaker change. I am enjoying the 'buy it second hand for what you can sell it for' route, as it allows for extended time to try things out.
Hope this helps.
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...as but one option, but not exclusively so. And there are other considerations there too in any case.
The joy of this forum is the eclectic mix of knowledge....whether you want vintage, valves, analogue or digital, active or passive. There are plenty of people recommending good "well known" brands, so I like to point to some of the lesser known alternatives....if nothing else, it gets them talked about.
As far as I'm concerned, there is no baby or bathwater, only the broadening of horizons which may allow better decisions to be made.
I wouldn't rule out modifying the Alpha 10. The transformation was a huge surprise to me.
However...the Alpha 10 is no slouch and partnered with good kit should give you everything you need out of an amp at that price point. Anyway, I stand by what I have already said; modififying it will dramatically improve it's sonic performance.
Enjoy the music!
Firstly, thank you to all of you who have taken the time to post replies on here, it really is much appreciated. There are obviously some conflicting opinions, which is to be expected through peoples own experiences, but good to read and take on board.
Selling the amps is very much a last result, this is not something I want to do, but yes they do have a good residual price, so not the end of the world if it does come to that. My preference would be to find some floor standing speakers that are extremely well complemented by the amp, this has been the problem. Amps are very bright as some of you have said, but I'm not completely defeated yet!
I have done a lot of research online to current components and potential ones, but there is no subtitute for actual listening, this is a problem if purchasing secondhand. For the time being due to cash flow, I think this would be my only solution, which I why I mentioned Monitor Audio's GR20, RS6, RX6 as they are reportedly quite bassy. Also in consideration was B&W 603 for the same reasons.
Anyway, this morning I have got in contact with Soundcraft in Ashford, Kent (where I live) and they have been really obliging. Have appointment booked next Saturday am and he is bringing Rel T5 and some B&W's, so we can try each component seperately and together, once helping to set it all up he's then offered to leave with me for a proper demo. I'd say that's service you can't beat, Sevenoaks wanted me to pay for items so I could demo and full credit on return....not bad but to me Soundcraft have just excelled from the off with this. I could be heavily in debt after there visit if I'm not careful though!
Furthermore, have spoken with friend who has the Tannoy F4 customs and he's going to bring those over at some point, so will be interesting to see how they sound in my room with Arcam 10's. I had the DC6T's on for the entire evening last night and I have to say they sounded a lot better by the end of the evening, I realise speakers have to be run in, so maybe that's partly the reason, it could of course always have something to do with the red wine I'd drunk too!
I will report findings next week.
FWIW. Speakers brands that I think work with Arcam are Kef, PMC and Tannoy.
That sounds like a plan.
There really is no substitute for listening and the recommendations here are simply just advice from experience (or not).
Good luck with the quest for better SQ. You have good amps, you just need to find the right equipment synergy.
Some sweeping statements here, there are no parallels between the Alpha 9 which you have and the Alpha 10, they are completely different animals. Besides modifying is going to be extremely subjective to say the least.
To the OP, the Alpha 10's are fine amplifiers and I would be extremely surprised if they were your problem, having said that they are getting on now and are beginning to suffer with dried out caps, there is also another little common fault which causes havoc with the auto bias circuit. So it might be an idea to get them serviced at some point just to make sure they are performing at their best.
Hi-Fi World had a Cambridge Audio 650C Azur CD player upgraded and the results read as extremely impressive. Improving the quality of the parts to improve sound sq makes perfect sense really.
Firstly, unless there is a fundamental problem with one of your amplifiers, changing them is unlikely to make the large difference that you appear to need.
As suggested, check all wiring connections and double check, as something simple could well be the issue.
Failing all that, the integrated amp is plenty powerful enough for most hifi speakers, so you might be best to offload the speakers and power amp and then go on the hunt for a pair of speakers that you like.
Edit: I see that you have checked the wiring. Why not get the same system as your friends if it has the sound you are looking for?
If you are determined to simply swap boxes in the hope of getting something you like, this is reasonable advice.
The reality is that you have somehow managed to aquire one of the least involving, least engaging systems produced in the nineties, the Arcam amps are smooth and refined, determined not to offend, for largish speakers the Chesters have little in the way of bass weight or punch and a lack of presence throughout out the rest of the range.
Though that might suit some people it is about as much use playing the kind of rock music that you seem to favour as it is possible to get for the money, it is really no surprise you don't like the results.
There are plenty of people on here that will recommend that you buy all the usual suspects, a Marantz this, Monitor Audio that and all the other mid fi components that are currently flavour of the month.
Dare to be different, go to a dealer and try something that plays your style of music in an engaging way that lifts your spirits, don't worry if it does not conform to conventional wisdom, if it does not contain 5* products that are flavour of the month, buy something that engages you!
+1 good advice
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