I'd be willing to bet you just lot your bet. It's all subjective. If Scene says it sounds better, then that's all that matters to him isn't it? Doesn't matter if it's again 50k's worth of equipment, if somebody prefers one sound to another and they think that's better, then you can't tell them it's not!
It's also not like normal testing where you would listen, change something, listen again. By the sounds of it it's both sync'd playing at the same time, so you only have to walk between rooms - that in itself is a fantastic way to hear the differences (yes, I'll include the differences of the rooms in that as well). Doing the stop start thing is as reliable as a politician keeping their promises as your mind and ears just can't retain enough information in order to make a good enough comparison.
There's a difference between him preferring it initially and it actually sounding 'better'. That's what I was getting at. I thought my Panasonic system sounded 'better', but it didn't. It was actually just different, and after using it for a while I realised it's limitations.
It makes no diffference to me either way, but I'd be very suprised if he doesn't go back towards the more expensive kit after a while, once the novelty of the new kit wears off.
Why the *sigh* scene?
The new kit's not that new - been using it for several months now, and the KEF Eggs go back years (just not using the currently defunct KHT sub). One of the worries about using the KEF eggs was that the reason we'd given up on them for the main system was that they were a bit indistinct, mulchy, etc. All the things I'm now finding that the Arcam+MA system is.
So, analysing things:
1. Historically found that Arcam+KEF Eggs sounded "mulchy"
2. Now find that Arcam+MA system sounds "mulchy"
3. Pioneer+KEF eggs sound crisp and clear
Leads to the logical conclusion that the part of the system that is at fault is the Arcam AVR250 AMP.
This was the conclusion I had reached when I typed *sigh*
Hi Fi: Arcam A85, DV88 (CD only), Project Debut II, AE Compact-1. AV: Arcam AVR250, DV79, Sony BDP-S760, Monitor Audio Silver 8i, RS-LCR, RXFX, Sonos ZP90, Pioneer KRP500A. 2nd AV: Pioneer SX-SWR2, Dell Zino HD, KEF KHT2005.2 eggs, Sonos ZP90. That Cable HDMI, Chord Crimsons and Sonos ZPS5s everywhere & a spare Yamaha RXV-667!
Don't get too down, Scene. Look at your main system logically: You have a decade old speakers, use a DVD player to play music, the amp, although still good, doesn't have the overall snap, crackle and pop of some newer ones... whereas the other set-up is relatively modern.
Leema Pulse MKII-S; Naim CD5i MKII; Denon TU-260L MKII; MA RS6 speakers; Pro-ject Xpression 1; loads of different cables...
Formerly known as plastic penguin
But, modern or not, the other set-up is based around a £200ish combined subwoofer & (multi channel?) amp used in home cinema kits. The Eggs are obviously from a different price bracket, but still! It's a bit of a turn-up for the books
Yup. The Arcam+MA system was a £1850 system when new. The Pioneer was £200ish, and the KEF eggs (2005.2) where £650 - but that included the sub which was about £150 - so £700ish system. Yes the Pioneer is multi-channel but I am running it "Pure Direct" for the Sonos using an optical cable to connect. The Arcam+MA is being fed by an identical source (Sonos Connect hard wired via gigabit ethernet, with Apple Lossless source files)
And let's face it - the Eggs were designed for Sub+Sat m/channel systems. The MA Silver 8is are full fat floorstanders designed for two channel music.
For the record, I've got the Sonos connected to the Arcam both via optical and RCA, so that when I click the "Direct" button on the amp, it flick over to using the analogue direct. This still sounds worse than the Pioneer.
Don't take this the wrong way, but it's how it should be. Look at the differences in the resources available to Pioneer compared to (in this case) Arcam. If Pioneer can't put out equal or greater quality for less money, then something is wrong somewhere. Have you tried the comparison with the Pioneer and your A85? The A85 should do a much better job, surely?
Synology NAS + Audio Station - ATV2 - Benchmark DAC1 HDR - Event Opal
At a guess, I suspect that while the DV88 was better than the average DVD player at playing CDs, in it's day, it will be a bit mulchy (my Arcam DV79 is anyway). When you then put mulch through a mulcher (Arcam amp).....you get it double mulched.
I am not saying that the Arcam amp is poor, only it needs a livelier source.....probably Rega or Audiolab.
Just thinking aloud
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
He is using the analogue (and optical - does the AVR have a dac?) from the sonos.
Interestingly, the dv79 sounds fine...
Yes, it does have a dac, and IMHO quite a decent one, for it's age.
Mine did as well, until I compared it to the DS.
Try using the DV79 for CD replay through the A85, and see how it compares.
You'll a hear distinct improvement with a dedicated CDP - not mega bucks either. Arcam CD17 or Rega Apollo (original) can be picked up for chip money.
Am I the only person whose noticed he isn't using the dvd player as a source in this comparison? He is using his sonos units connected via optical and analogue.
IMO What ever is being used a source is possibly being shown up by A85 / MA.....IMO. Worth checking out.
Again, apologies if I'm reading it wrong, but I don't think he's mentioned using the A85 with the MA's. He is comparing the cheap Pioneer surround amp with the Arcam surround amp. His sig mentions the A85 is being used with some AE1s.
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