It was carrying it up 2 flights of stairs to the bedroom every weekend that did for me.
By "it" are you referring to the amplifier? Just interested ...
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
What someone in the OP's position really needs is practical hands on experience, doing your research on line is just another way of getting someone else to chose your system for you.
So the options are:-
1) Trudge round a bunch of dealers most of whom will sell similar product, demo across all of them and be none the wiser becuase it's all mediocre
2) Do one's homework beforehand, understand what they want, select from a good shortlist either by review or on the back of having done said homework and then go seek, quite possibly without the need of a dealer.
I'm rather surprised by some of this advice; having bought a bunch of stuff in recent years, I've found the dealer in most cases not to be the first point of contact, with the exception of the Home Cinema Centre in Edinburgh who are sadly no longer a presence on the high street (but still going online) and in some cases, the weak link.
Why spend time traipsing round a bunch of unknown quantities when you can easily draft a shortlist up? Online sources give you user reviews, hifi journalists' reviews, tech specs off the manufacturers' websites. Of the products in my signature line below, I only heard the Tannoys up front, the rest I'd worked out for myself. This isn't difficult, so let's not call it something it's not.
Your advice around the Arcams was suspect too IMO. Plenty of folk rate them, the 10's 100wpc means it'll drive most speakers comfortably, the power amp can either be sold on or retained. You make it sound like they're rubbish but you sold them alongside what, Naim gear? Come on...be objective if nothing else.
And is there any chance you can drop the the namedropping of the "I've spent 20 years in the music business" schtick as if it's some kind of badge of authenticity? You'll get a lot more mileage out of your experience if you do.
The guys I know in the music business are as qualified as you, do it for a living and have worked for the biggest names in music - Barry Diament at Atlantic in its' heyday, Joe Gastwirt, Steve Hoffman and their ilk. They've got the pedigree but they don't flash the business card in your face when they're at it. They don't need to.
Look, I really don't mind you disagreeing with me, it's quite entertaining really, but at least when you do disagree please make sure it is something that I actually said rather than what you wished I had said.
I never said that Arcam amps were suspect, in fact I said they were rather good but of a type, a type that I would class as rather relaxed sounding and not the best choice for someone looking to reproduce rock music with a little bit of punch and presence. The Castle speakers are, in very general terms, in a similar category, the result is the kind of sound described by the OP.
Adding a pair of Studio 580s to the integrated amp would give a very different sound, one that might be to the taste of the OP or then again maybe not. It would though be a very different option and one that you might not want to live with forever as I tried to make clear in my own way. It also has the benefit of being a relatively simple fix that is not too expensive if the power amp and speakers can be sold for a reasonable price.
As for drafting up a short list, I am somewhat at a loss to see how that can be done if you are generally unfamiliar with the equipment available, once again you are relying on the taste of others, and for me at least, this is not a reliable way to chose a system.
We do so many shows in a row,
And these towns all look the same,
We just pass the time in our hotel room
And wander 'round backstage,
Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,
And we remember why we came.
Hi Dave, yes, I know what you said. There was no wishing on my part, consistency aside. We just have different approaches to the same end goal, so let's not call it something its not. I think the Arcam amps will do fine with the right speakers, but in your salesman's experience, which I think you mentioned was Naim as well as Arcam, so two brands, our OP should sell the lot. Okay...
As to the rest, how difficult is it to call up Google with an enquiring mind before you part with your cash, or are JBL and the other one all you need? Just sayin'...
Onkyo TX-NR818 / Tannoy Revolution DC4 (bi-amped)
AVI Laboratory Series CD Player
Lol, if only she lived next door and I was single! those days are gone!!
As much as love listening to Axel and Slash, my absolute favoured is Phonics (with track ten, first album being my all time favourite track ever! Straits being a close second.), I'm 36 so the DnB is old school and at best very occasional , but still required along with the rumble that's necessary.
I'm a fussy EDITED with all things in my life, but not with the assessment of my current system, it definitely needs vast improvement. I'm seeking quality infinite sound, which once I find i'm sure I'll cherish for years to come.
Looking forward to next weekend and hoping that musice to my ears will be fulfilled.
Tried Tannoy's and going to try some Bowers next weekend, not the 603's though as they're no longer made, that was sort of my point...I would like too but can't as would have to buy second hand, hence wanting feedback.
Research online definitely helps but actually listening to the poduct can't be beaten, that;s been a painful and quick lesson. typing this on gooseberry and starting to lose the will to live, don't ever get one! Like Panasonic are the TV equiv!!!
I have had an Arcam 10/9p combo for a year or so now and I am not surprised with the op's initial comments. I mostly listen to Jazz and electronicathese days and they are great for the former and fine for the latter. But the rare times I listen to rock or indie I find the presentation pretty flat. I do think some Acoustic Energy speakers would help, but only a bit. I had a set of the original neo floorstanders previously and they were a bit more lively than my quads but were not in the same league overall. But perhaps some AE's higher up their range would be better?
Overall though I suspect op will end up changing his amps...I will watch thread with interest.
Arcam alpha 10, Arcam alpha 9P, Sony bdp s370, Marantz NA 7004, Quad 21L2 floorstanders, virgin TiVo, dell laptop and ipad as source for music, chord chameleon interconnects, fiio E11, Grado SR 80i, ATH-WS55i
From my experience with a mate's alpha 10 integrated and my own Alpha 9, I think the choice of speaker is very important. Despite a reputation for being laid back, my experience with these amps is that they had brilliant bass (tight and detailed) and plenty of punch. Sorry, I know nothing of the Castles you have, although the dealer tried to sell me a Castle standmount when I auditioned my Alpha 9 and I wasn't impressed with the pairing.
Observe the signature in its natural habitat.
Well....sorry it's been so long, life has been more than little hectic!
Had the CM8's and Rel T5 sub on loan and the improvement was dramatic the say the least. without the sub there was a crisp quality sound with good midrange, however still lacked bass, however, turn the Rel sub on and that saw to he low end. I rate the B&W's a lot, very nice speakers. would like to har the CM9's and was next on my list to try, however things changed a little....got carried away on ebay and ended up with a asolutely mint pair of Monitor Audio RS6's. Paid £300 for these with boxes and all original extras and i'm very impressed indeed, they definitely suit he amps.
The RS6's don't have the quality mid range of the B&W's but not bad in that area, they do hve the bass was looking for though. the guy bought them from though has just upgraded to RX8's ad have to say they are even more impressive with the depth of sound...so may keep that thought for the future...
I can't say enough about Soundcraft in Ashford, Sam was as nice as could be and very ethusiastic about music and stereo equipment and never any pressure to purchase, also left sub and speakers with me for two weeks. I have of course ordered the Rel sub from him and will continue to use them.
Thanks to all that posted responses to this plea for urgent help, much appreciated and all considered and taken in.
Glad things are moving along. Did you keep the Alpha 10s?
Arcam Alpha 9/9P amps and Alpha 9 CD all extensively modified by Fidelity Audio (level 3+), Acoustic Energy speakers, Fidelity Audio NNU X Reference Mains Filter, quality cables & interconnects, Sony AV.
I Most certainly dd, there can't be that many people wrong about these, it had to be other components! it's still not perfect with all genre's but much much closer, I am now enjoying listening.
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