I would say introducing a CDP / Dac would be the single biggest improvement you can make, without looking at an amp. The other suggestions were about making the most of this (because you aren't getting an amp).
This was really my point of entry, after some contemplation and research. I'm of course presently using an £80 BDP to play CDs, which seems far from ideal in terms of getting the most out of my admittedly limited music collection.
I'm still unsure as to whether I'd get better value from a BDP or DAC, though, which was why I wanted to draw on the expertise of the forum's hi-fi aficionados. At the same time, I've always felt that the subwoofer was the weakest component in my system, so as Ben suggests, that might be as sensible an upgrade.
Hardware: Panasonic TX-P50VT65B (calibrated); Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD; Yamaha RX-A810; Teac PD-H600; PS3; B&W 601 & 600LCR (series 3); Q Acoustics QAV (rear)
Furniture and Accessories: BLOK Classix 3000 Oak AV Cabinet; Atacama Nexus 6 (atabite metal filled); 3D3 A1112
I'd say upgrade your sub.
That's something I'm genuinely considering. If so, what would represent a notable improvement without spending silly money? Bearing in mind that I've spent quite a bit upgrading my TV and receiver in the last month, I couldn't spend too much. If I could get £200 for my AE sub, I could look for an alternative in the region of £500.
I say this because it actually seems to address your concerns, which are depth and authority at the bottom end. I would steer well clear of cable changes (zero effect in reality) and whilst source could improve things I see no reason why this will address bass in particular. So sub is logical. I'm afraid my sub knowledge is limited (I leapt in with an expensive one first time) but £500 second hand ought to get you a huge upgrade and hopefully someone else can help with recommendations.
HiFi / A/V / Bedroom
IMO. The sub is a nice idea, but won't make a poor source, good (for stereo). Your sub is not the best for the money, and is not as tight and punchy as it might be.
It's hard to go that wrong with this crowd: http://www.bkelec.com/HiFi/Sub_Woofers.htm
At a guess, I would say the Dac would be better (Rega), but it is something you need to borrow and try.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
It's hard to fault your logic there. My living room isn't huge. It's also an awkward L shape. Ignoring the bottom of the capital "L," if that makes sense, the living room is 14' x 12'.
With this and broader aesthetic factors in mind, I don't want a hulking ugly box taking up too much space. A light oak finish that compliments my speakers and AV cabinet would be nice as well.
I'm not making life easy for those trying their best to help, I know!
At s guess, I would say the Dac would be better (Rega), but it is something you need to borrow and try.
I'm stepping into a world of confusion here. After looking into a CDP, I thought the Teac PDH600 mentioned in the original post seemed a good option. I've read great things about it and it majors on bottom end bite. It's a slightly older CDP, but seems very good value at £300.
The Rega DAC, while potentially a very nice option, is probably too expensive given my current budget. I can really spend a maximum of £300, unless selling and replacing another system component.
There is really no need for confusion with regard to this as -
- It is only ever my intention to give suggestions that should be added to a demo list. If you hear the Teac and it gives better VFM than the Rega, then that is the one to go for. IME. Picking the right kit from behind a computer is a high risk strategy, if you don't listen to it.
I picked the Rega, as it is my personal pick for great performance for what you pay. TBF I haven't heard the Teac, so it is hard for me to comment as to how it will work.
I'm not into "telling people what to do", only throwing out "food for thought", mostly based on what I have discovered over nearly 40 years (doesn't sound so bad if you say it quickly ).
If you are contemplating a DAC, I would strongly advise a try before you buy approach (at home) the differences if they exist (and they may well not) are likely to be very small. Be open minded and don't expect any huge differences, or you might end up convincing yourself otherwise.
A competent sub is probably the best advice, depending on what frequency ranges that you feel need reinforcing. Is it possible to cutoff frequencies when using a sub with your AVR? Being a newish model, this might be possible and give your main speakers a bit more headroom by offloading the lower frequency duties.
REL do some very nice subs, if you have the space, BTW.
The speaker cable advice was based on the supposition that you might have had some spindly stringy affair between amp and speakers, clearly you don't, so that area is best left alone.
Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts
Indeed, I didn't mean to imply that you were trying to confuse me; more that I'm feeling quite confused. Your advice is very much appreciated. I also didn't think for a moment that you were "telling me what to do." If I have any expertise with regard to equipment, it's lies squarely within the field of home cinema. This is precisely why I posted in the hi-fi section, as those that frequent this part of the forum are best positioned to advise a relative novice such as myself.
I agree entirely about buying from behind a computer and always advocate a try before you buy (as extensively as possible) approach.
The difficulty with the Teac is that I can't audition the CDP. It's only available from a few retailers, none of which are local to me. Perhaps this rules it out, though from what I've read the Teac sounds like a very good solution (dangerous thinking, I know). I might investigate buying with an option to return.
To be honest, I don't find the 810's stereo performance disagreeable. It's a very easy listen. I'd just like a bit more punch.
If by 40 years you're referring to your overall age, I'm not far behind you. If you mean 40 years as an enthusiast, I've got some catching up to do!
The Yamaha doesn't offer much in the way of subwoofer EQ options. At the moment I'm torn between giving the Teac CDP a try on the basis that it could be returned, and selling my sub and buying a BK monolith. The BK is still a relatively large box for my small living room and might look a little imposing. As much as I favour performance over aesthetics, there's remains an element of compromise in this regard from my end.
The BK is still a relatively large box for my small living room and might look a little imposing. As much as I favour performance over aesthetics, there's remains an element of compromise in this regard from my end.
How about a down firing sub to double up as sidetable duties? Part of the furniture so to speak.
The Monolith is a very big ported sub, which won't be as "tight" as a sealed one, and may over-power a small room. The next one down (XLS 400) might be better - but why not ring them, tell them what you are trying to achieve and in what size and shape of room...and ask their advice. They are very helpful.
Unfortunately it's the latter!
Yes, I'm not sure why I referenced the Monolith in my previous post. The name of course denotes that it's a big one... The 200 might do it; and isn't prohibitively expensive, either.
I'm now contemplating pushing the boat out by selling my Radiance sub, buying a BK 200, while also looking at the Teac. Once any of us start considering upgrades we're torn between a desire for discernable improvement and a need for financial restraint.
As you suggest, a phone call to BK (and a Teac retailer) have been added to my Monday "to do" list.
I'm listening to Dylan's "It's not Dark Yet" in response to this post.
Try to find a Teak dealer who also sells Rega, as he will give better insight!
Whatever else happens, the Teak with the BK should bring about a significant improvement.
Let us know how it goes.
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