I'd buy a decent dac/pre (by decent I mean one that isn't going to turn its nose up at your Sonos), probably a Benchmark dac. Then I'd spend as much as I needed to to get some active monitors that sounded great with the 'not so good' recordings and jaw dropping with the great ones. My experience so far with good studio actives is they look bad but sound devine, and blow traditional hifi out the water where sound per pound is concerned. A problem you may have is a lot of rock/dance type music isn't mastered all that great - I wouldn't want a system that rubbed my nose in it. Almost anything you listen to is going to sound great after your present system, whether it represents good value is up to you. As others have said, be sure to demo at home - the room can have a big influence on how a system sounds, and maybe take a good look at room treatment as well - it's not like the missus is gonna complain about how it looks!
Synology NAS + ATV2 > ADM9RS
Indeed, there is some wild talk on this thread about a £2K system sounding "better than any £20K systems".
Really? I think I need a new browser, this one seems to be leaving posts out.
That's a lot of money and your ears may well prefer say a 5k system. My last demo I went in willing to spend a lot more, ok not 20k but double what i actually spent. As soon as I heard the naim/neat combo I got that "wow that sounds sweet feeling" hour later after hearing more stuff including naim pre/power combo's when they connected it back up again the demo stopped and I bought it. Even the guy doing the demo had to admit it was not worth spending no more.
Rega RP3 turntable/Naim 5i CD/Naim 5i amp/Neat motive 2/BK sub
MarantzPM6004/MarantzCD6004/Monitor Audio Bronze BX2
Project Box S/B&W P7 headphones
APX's and a bunch of i things
Demo and then demo some more.
Find a good hifi store with a LOT of different equipment and spend some time getting to know what you like at different price ranges. There is a great store in coventry...im sure there are many others who will help you part with your cash.
10k i think is a good base to get a decent system..but spend some time demoing as it can soon become 20k when you change your mind .
looking for advice on speakers and amps to audition for listening to mainly rock music and dance (house/techno), but also all other genres of music.
5X5m living room.
using digital source so only after amp and speakers with budget £10-20k. Any suggestions on what brands sound best for rock/dance music in this price range (used or new)?
I haven't read through the thread as I haven't had time, but if it were my own money - and I do listen to rock/dance, as well as other electronic music and alternative rock - I wouldn't be looking to definitively split the budget any specific way. Some speakers need big power, some don't. Although, most good speakers do respond well to better amplification...
As I say, my money would still go on something like the KEF Reference 205/2 and then your personal choice of amplification. Why? The 205/2's, when driven properly, they keep their character intact, tight, and don't 'change'. As long as the accompanying amplification has the same attributes, the system will sound the same at low or high volumes. They're effortless, in a way that you can turn them up and you needn't worry about the volume you want them to deal with - they just take it. I like the 205/2's with the Bryston 4Bsst2 stereo power amp or 7Bsst2 monoblock power amps, Cyrus Mono X200 monoblock power amps, or Chord SPM1050 or SPM1200 stereo power amps. I like these power amps because they don't change the 205/2's characteristics, and don't change their own at higher volumes either. These combinations deliver what I expect from the likes of Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Boards Of Canada, Nine inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Angus & Julia Stone, Elysian Fields, Queens Of The Stone Age etc etc - all the stuff that I consider demo material, and that should sound good. They also deliver with material that doesn't sound so good. Yes, they'll reveal shortcomings in recordings, but if they didn't, I'd be disappointed.
The 205/2's just do everything right in regard to what I want them to do, and that is all anyone can ask. You firstly need to find a speaker that you like the sound of, then make sure you drive them properly in order to make the investment worthwhile. Of course, going the active route removes the need to find sufficient amplification, but also removes choice, to a certain extent.
Based on your stated budget, get a demo of some speakers in the £5k-10k price point, then look at amplification.
David @Frank Harvey Hi-Fi, Coventry
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You don't need to spend more than £100k on a house (and you don't need more than one). You don't need to spend more than £10k on a car (and again, you don't need more than one). You don't need to spend more than £200 on an amp. You don't need to spend more than £10 on a watch (or even have a collection). You don't need to spend more than £5 on a t-shirt. But people do, for different reasons. There are benefits, they're just not necessarily benefits that appeal to everyone.
Everyone has their own priorities. With some it is their house and its contents, with others it is their car/car collection. Others may spend a fortune on golfing, holidays, a clothes collection, a watch collection, or just weekends out p*****g it up a wall. For me, my hobbies are music and movies, so my money will go on hardware and software for my chosen priorities. I see many people spending thousands of pounds on holidays. Unless the holiday involves visiting historic sites, I don't see the point in spending thousands of pounds to sit around a burn on a beach and getting p****d. A holiday is for a week or two, and you'll have some photos to prove you were there. Movies and music are for life, and are continuously enjoyable.
Take any well matched £2k system or good quality active system and compare it to £20k's worth of badly matched system and the claims made are possible, but if the purchasers of such awful sounding £20k systems had visited a quality dealer in the first place, they wouldn't be thinking of changing their systems. Someone mentioned an expensive B&W and Meridian system earlier - definitely wouldn't be my first choice!
Well said that man! but I do like to squeeze some sun and a beach in if poss.
Accuphase E350 amp, Electrocompaniet EMC1UP CDP, Siltech 25th Classic anniversary 330I XLR Harbeth Super HL5 on Sound Anchor Quod ELS63 stands, Chord Odessey2 speaker cable. Grado SR60 headphones.
Take any well matched £2k system or good quality active system and compare it to £20k's worth of badly matched system and the claims made are possible, but if the purchasers of such awful sounding £20k systems had visited a quality dealer in the first place, they wouldn't be thinking of changing their systems.
Often, the first experience people have of a very expensive system is at a show, where the set up and room are far from ideal.......and because the sound is poor, they assume that all highend systems are a waste of money.
A few weeks ago I heard Kef Blades bi-amped with Linn amplification and a Linn Klimax DS as a source...and I can say that (imo) no system under £20k would get close, let alone one at £2k.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
More good points from more posters! Especially David @Frank Harvey Hi-Fi.
If I had a budget of £20,000 to spend on Hi-Fi and I new it would not affect me financially I could spend that much. I might not spend it all depending on the system I ended up liking.
Probably the Spendor SP100R2 anther poster suggested with suitable CD player and amplifier.
That would be the best part £15,000 right there.
That's likely what I would get but the OP needs to do lots of demoing.
CA 751BD, Denon AVR-3801, Quad 21L2, Quad L2 Centre, Mission 78DS
Samsung LE32R87BD 32"
Matt's comment is quite understandable, as there are several statements insinuating this; such as:
"For around £2k you can have the AVI ADM9RS + ADM sub (no step amp required). They could be all you ever need".
"If it is about enjoying your music rather more than the kudos[??] of having spent £10k or more, then buy a pair of AVI ADM 9RS active speakers + dedicated AVI sub for just £2k".
"For a budget of £5000-10,000 (or less!) you can buy a system that has 99% of the performance of the best £20,000+ systems. Very often with many of the urber expensive HiFi systems you just end up getting expensive bling which doesn't actually sound better than much cheaper systems and many of them even sound worse".
"I disagree. There's nothing wrong with the quality of ..........Spotify Premium with any system. Even one costing £20,000."
The strong impression that the above statements give is:
- The likelihood is that £2k (on AVI) will fill all needs...which is possible, but unlikely if the OP heard a good £15k system. Though if it makes him evaluate VFM, it has merit.
- Spending £20k is about vanity and showing off, rather than about the music.....so anything above £2k (on AVI) is wasted
- Spending possibly less than £5k, will give you, as near as dammit, the performance of the very best systems, costing even in excess of £20k (which are little more than expensive trinkets).
- Source and bit rate is of little importance, so spending money here is wasted.
If there is another conclusion from these opinions, other than expensive systems are a complete waste of money, that £2k - £5k (probably nearer £2k) gives 99% (who can hear 1% anyway) of the very best systems, and anyone spending £10k-£20k has more money than sense and are simply looking for kudos......I would like to hear it.
Once again, it is not my intention to judge the people who made the above statements, as i absolutely believe in their right to hold this opinion; but to challenge your assertion that there isn't a very strong implication that a simple £2k (or a little more) Active system, will equal, or in many cases better a £20k+ one. I am not even commenting on whether this assertion is true or not, only that the above quotes bear out that Matt wasn't so far off the mark.
personally I would spend 5k on a nice system then the other 15k on drink, drugs and dirty women. 20k on hi fi is a waste.
I like your style, but it would have even less WAF than hifi......and that's difficult enough.
* In fact if I had that sort of money, I wouldn't spend it all on AV or hi-fi.
Hi-fi components are dead products. By that I mean that most components are outmoded quicker than rat up a drainpipe. Makers that don't can't afford to because they have such crummy distribution they can't generate the revenue. Spend just a fraction of that 20k on hi-fi and blow the rest on starting your own dating agency.
Amp: Leema Pulse; Source: Naim CD5i-2, Denon 260MKII, Pro-ject XP I; Speakers: PMC TB2i
Formerly known as plastic penguin
These two statements were mine.
First of all the Genelec 8260A speakers that I recommended are probably some of the most accurate and competent speakers available (although not nessessarly the most enjoyible depending on your taste). They may cost only £6000 but I bet that they'd give any of the other sugestions in this thread more than a run for their money when it comes to low distortion, detail, accuracy, frequency range, SPL, stereo imaging and all in one complete package.
Secondly, there's nothing wrong with the quality of Spotify Premium (provided you have the 'High quality streaming' checkbox ticked in the 'Preferences' menu). Spotify Premium streams Ogg Vorbis audio files at 320kbps. Try ripping an audio CD to both lossless FLAC and 320kbps Ogg Vorbis. The two files will sound identical to each other and I guarantee that if you ABX them in Foobar then you will never be able to tell them apart.
PC > AVI Neutron Five 2.1
Sony NWZ-A847 64GB Walkman > Westone UM3x
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