Hi - I'm looking to get a new amp/speaker setup for my lounge. I will put the TV through it, but am not bothered about surround sound etc. Only plan to have 2 speakers (well, plus sub-woofer if it is needed) and much more interested in quality of music library than TV.
My sound source will mostly be my iPod (or drive with same on it). Most of this is ripped at 320/vbr, but still a lot of my earlier rips were done at 192, and don't know if I'll ever get the time to redo! But might, over time...
I had originally budgeted about £1k in total for amp & speakers. Yesterday I auditioned Marantz 6004 & both B&W CM1's & MA RX1's. Overall was very dissapointed in sound. Some things sounded OK...others just sounded...small, boxed in.
So I asked to try some floor standing speakers, and listened to some MA RX6's. This pushed me out of my budget, but that's OK. I wasn't going to pay £1k for a sound I would never be happy with.
Conclusion - some things sounded absolutely amazing on the RX6's, but some tracks still were a dissapointment. I was wondereing whether the quality of the setup was revealing weaknesses in the original recording, or in the quality of the compression (oh, forgot to say, shop was running my iPod wirelessly through an Arcam DAC). I then compared tracks I knew were encoded at 320 vbr and above, to ones with a lower bt rate...and couldn't really detect that this was making the difference.
It seemed to me that, when the track was quite simple (just acoustic guitar & voice, solo piano, solo cello) the setup sounded amazing. but as soon as a full orchestra, or more complex band music came in, the quality dived. It just got muddy, lack of clairity, lack of focus. That doesn't happen with same sound source in my headphones (Bose over ear, or Kplisch in-ear) or my car, so why should it here?)
Is this the amp or the speakers? (oh, one more thing - the speakers occasionally 'boomed' on bass notes. Don't know if this was an affect of the demo room I was in, or the speakers themselves).
I've been reading a bit about the Kef R100's - would this be a better choice than the RX1's? Should I be considering another amp?
If I were prepared to push my budget up to, say a max of £2k for both amp & speakers (I'd rather not! But if I had to, for a sound I was happy with, I would), could I be looking at something that would be significantly better than this setup?
Any tips greatly appreciated!!
The music I was listening to was:
Weather Report - various tracks from Heavy Weather
Steely Dan - tracks from Aja, Royal Scam, & others
Keith Jarret - solo piano
Joni Mitchell - various
Mahler - symphony 9