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Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

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shropshire lad's picture
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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

JMacMan wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

altruistic.lemon wrote:

Disagree. You should spend the bulk on the speakers. Amps don't make anywhere near that much difference to the sound, and, providing they're in the recommended power band, most amps cope well irrespective of price.

Every argument needs a counter-argument to give balance.......which is as it should be......and why this has to be confirmed personally. There is no right and wrong, just preferable and less preferable.

The problem with declared specs, is they can be misleading, and can appear to put the amp in the right power band, without it actually having good reserves of power when impedance drops. Very often expensive speakers need expensive amps to control them properly, even if you do believe they all sound similar.

 

Quote: "There is no right and wrong, just preferable and less preferable"

Forgive me for being aghast and taking you to task on this, but with the greatest of respect, I disagree on your opinion here, completely.

Either there's a goal to all this box swapping and fiddling about, or there isn't.

HiFi or 'High Fidelity' used to mean the closest approach to the original sound, not the sound that most pleases me, like wine tasting or something.

So, for example shouldn't the pursuit of the lowest possible distortion and the least added colouration to the kit be a lauded goal?

If not, I say that Bose is better than anything you or your favourite dealer can offer, because I say so, and my opinion is just as valuable and great as yours, this being the internet and all, and given that we are all experts.

I also say so, because I heard it, and believe it as my ears never lie, and in the light of any confounding objective facts to bear on the matter, I'm therefore completely and unassailably right, and you've wasted a shed load of money - because when I hear your system, I will tell you it's c**p and you need to upgrade etc, etc, and etc., and sell it all and buy BOSE!

Especially If I'm a dealer selling said BOSE upgrade, or a HiFi writer lacking an education in physics, electrical engineering and psycho-acoustics, caught up in the same silly circle of consumer level mixing and matching to mask the various faults of connected equipment in the pursuit of the art of wine tasting re sound.

Now, I'm being rather tongue in cheek here, and stirring the pot, so please don't go and have a hissy fit or such...lol... by taking me too seriously, but I make the naughty comments to draw attention to how in my view, these sorts of discussions are about sound 'flavours' and nothing to do with HiFi per se.

Imagine if you will, if you were expected to purchase a brand new car by buying a bodyshell from say Ford, and then being expected at a consumer level, guided only by biased dealers, to try out say a Honda, or Toyota, or Peugeot engine with it perhaps; maybe some wheels and tyres from Toyota? - how about a transmission from a Smart Four x Four? - would that work OK in a Ford Mondeo bodyshell??  See how silly it all sounds?

I actually find this whole mix and matching of equipment at a consumer level to be a frankly hugely outdated and self defeating way of purchasing a HiFi system in the 21st century; the mix and match building model belongs in the 50's with the DIY industry from which HiFi has grown to be a large commercial enterprise profiting from the inexperience and relative ignorance of the general punter, and the touted but unsustainable notion that individual cottage industry specialists can somehow build a better mousetrap than a company who builds the whole box and caboodle using the most up to date design and construction methods, along with tertiary trained staff at the very highest levels, as against enthusiastic amateurs come business entreprenuers.

Frankly, I would buy a complete Yamaha, Sony, AV system for example, or BOSE...lol.. before any of these cottage industry so called 'high end' products in a suck it and see, mix and match fashion.

I respectfully suggest the OP, and anyone else starting from scratch to build a HiFi, and with a good budget as the OP has, do some reading of the likes of Floyd Toole, Sean Olive etc, and find out a thing or two about what REALLY works in a HiFi and acoustic/room context, and investigate some sort of properly finished and matched system by tertiary trained experts at the highest levels - not amateurs at an retail HiFi store level, or amateurs like myself on a HiFi forum giving otherwise well meaning advice  - or for that matter the amateurs who also write about mixing and matching in the mainstream HiFi press, for clearly most are no more knowledgeable about electrical engineering, physics and psycho-acoustics than the buyers either.  It is a case of the blind leading the blind in far too many cases in my humble opinion.

Of course, if mixing and matching kit to achieve a 'flavour' of sound, like wine tasting, is what you REALLY want in a system, then by all means ignore my comments, as it's a more than fair enough aspect to the hobby for a lot of people, and good on them for having that interest, only, don't tell me the results are about 'HiFi' and the closest aproach to the orignal sound unless you have some facts to back up the claim.  And as I say, if it's really about wine tasting or sound 'flavour's I say save yourself a lot of money and buy BOSE - an awful lot of people do, and most of them are very very happy with the product.  Most of them almost certainly don't read Hifi magazines either, and obsess endlessly about the kit and possible 'ugrades' - it does a job and they're very happy with the flavour of sound it offers - end of story really....Wink

Heheh, I'll get off my soapbox and stop stirring now...lol Cool

Best regards

John...  beauty, eh

 

 

 

   Or you could buy some AVI ADM 40s for £3200 and have done with it !  There I've said it , I'll go and wash my mouth out .

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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

megatombomb wrote:

Maybe ought to mention i currently only have a Marantz MCR603 and MA BX2 system which is not filling the room and obviously doesnt do deep bass.  I have a Monitor audio RX 6 speakers on a Pioneer SClX85 AVR and the lack of bass depth again is dissapointing.  Bass depth/power without a Sub is important so i have also wondered about the KEF R900 but no one seems to have written anything onlne about these yet!

I Have the M-CR603 and orginally had the BX2's which i thought were terrible! Upgraded to Kef R100's and the difference is amazing the bass, clarity, musicality and soundstage are so much better, so moving up the Kef R range i'm sure you will love them!

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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

tino1104 wrote:

megatombomb wrote:

Maybe ought to mention i currently only have a Marantz MCR603 and MA BX2 system which is not filling the room and obviously doesnt do deep bass.  I have a Monitor audio RX 6 speakers on a Pioneer SClX85 AVR and the lack of bass depth again is dissapointing.  Bass depth/power without a Sub is important so i have also wondered about the KEF R900 but no one seems to have written anything onlne about these yet!

I Have the M-CR603 and orginally had the BX2's which i thought were terrible! Upgraded to Kef R100's and the difference is amazing the bass, clarity, musicality and soundstage are so much better, so moving up the Kef R range i'm sure you will love them!

Goes to show speakers make the biggest change in sound!!.. As per the write up of the bose system totally agree with it... I may b looking at that nxt myself who knows. Am more about gettin the right sound for me & no one else!!   Hey its all in the listening  & trusting your own ears!!

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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

megatombomb wrote:

All good advice thanks guys.

Ive been thinking sod it then and having looked online this morning at amps upto £2.5k i could manage budget this i suppose.  Still goto £3k on the speakers if necessary too.  The CDP i assume i could maybe spend less on then?  I do have a growing SACD collection and had considered a Marantz Pearl lite but i maybe not doing other components justice with one of these?

Back on the amp though i like the look/specs of the Musical Fidelity M6i.  The amp manages 200W rms into 8ohms but doesnt say how it manages it?

Is it Class a/b or class D?

Hi I  run an m6i with scm40s and they sound fantastic  there a wide sound stage very deep bass which is fast the mid range delivers vocals and aucoustic guitars like you have the artist in your living room the top end is sweet not hasrh or bright and the power is almost limitless . Also I agree with Cno go for the sound that you love after all its you that will have to live with it and a hifi that isn't playing your tunes how you love em will not get much use good luck in your search

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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

JMacMan wrote:

Quote: "There is no right and wrong, just preferable and less preferable"

Forgive me for being aghast and taking you to task on this, but with the greatest of respect, I disagree on your opinion here, completely.

Either there's a goal to all this box swapping and fiddling about, or there isn't.

HiFi or 'High Fidelity' used to mean the closest approach to the original sound, not the sound that most pleases me, like wine tasting or something.

John...  beauty, eh

There is really nothing to forgive, for a polite challenging of opinion.....and if you have followed some of my copious posts, you will know I don't take hissy fits, and try to respect everyone's opinion.

By "original sound" do you mean, as in "real life" or as in "the recording".

The alternative to taking my position is:

- Find the most neutral system you can afford...not at all easy, as what exactly constitutes "absolute neutral"  (and every system adds something of its character).

- Find out how the piece sounded to the engineer who mastered it and what kit he played it through, so you can approximate it as closely as possible.

- Comb through all the specs to guide you, which means not only getting access to all of them, but then fully understanding them.

- Ignore whether you like the sound (or not), secure in the knowledge that it's accurate to the recording (which you haven't been able to prove conclusively anyway).

IMO. Getting fixated on the kit, rather than the music, is completely missing the point. To get a good reference point, I think it is necessary to go to some live, unmiked concerts, to see how the thing should sound....now go and listen to Active / Passive / Valve / Hybrid and a manner of different speakers, until you get the ones that bring you closest to the live experience. Simples.

Fact....if you don't like the way your system sounds, you will listen to it much less, unless of course you are into masochism. Surely, if you are going to spend your hard earned money, the very least you should expect to do, is enjoy it (by listening, rather than showing it off to your mates, as a piece of modern architecture). When asked why you bought it if you didn't like it, you can always blame some bloke on some forum, who said it was like buying a car, which seemed to make sense at the time! 

I stand by my opinion that enjoyment has to be at the very heart of the buying decision. In my case, I think the distortion that a well designed, true Class A amp eliminates, brings the sound closer to the original. I have yet to see Actives driven by a built-in Class A amp.

IMO. Hifi and the love of music is, by it's nature, totally subjective, so you cannot (and should not) condemn (or ridicule) people for their opinion based on (nebulous) so called objective criteria.

beauty, eh

Cno

 

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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

I share CnoEvil's "amp-first" approach to system building, though I also think this shouldn't be cast in stone - if you see and hear a particular pair of speakers that you fall in love with, then by all means start with the speakers. But remember the amp is heart of a system and in my experience can have a significant influence on sound quality.

And I wouldn't get too hung up on power specs. After more than 20 years of dabbling in audio - I'm 52 now - I've come to prefer the pure class A sound produced by the likes of Sugden, Accuphase and Musical Fidelity. None of these brands offer a Class A integrated amp that delivers more than 30-35 watts into 8 ohms but they are all able to drive most speakers with aplomb.

Good luck with your system building - I've always found that the process of researching, auditioning and discussing to be half the fun! party time!

PS when I turned 30, I owned a Bose system! boohoo

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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

I must say its been interesting to read the very differing views on why we chose our hifi components?

I respect but dont adhere to the argument that the best hi-fi on paper must be the best sounding is sadly misguided.  Put simply when im listening to my music, its the music i want to hear! I have far more faith in my ears than any other source of information.  I guess by my own argument asking for opinions on here on whether the items ive shortlisted sound good together is a completely pointless waste of all our time but its interesting non-the-less to get ideas and opinions and i thank you all for yours.

So ive done some more readings about the Sugden 21 amp and CD player.  I will have to track down a demo but my un-educated brain is struggling to come to terms with how 30wpc into 8ohms feeding say a PMC23 (let alone a ATC40) will produce good results at moderately high listening levels especially trying to control the bass?!?

I must say the price of the Sugden setup appeals as i could put the spare towards vinyl (my follow up project) and i expect the sound of class A will give me exactly what i'm looking for.

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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

megatombomb wrote:

So ive done some more readings about the Sugden 21 amp and CD player.  I will have to track down a demo but my un-educated brain is struggling to come to terms with how 30wpc into 8ohms feeding say a PMC23 (let alone a ATC40) will produce good results at moderately high listening levels especially trying to control the bass?!?

I must say the price of the Sugden setup appeals as i could put the spare towards vinyl (my follow up project) and i expect the sound of class A will give me exactly what i'm looking for.

Make sure it's the SE version, which has more grunt......remember, not all 30Ws are created equal.

You will know if it copes when you compare it with other more powerful amps.

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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

Native_bon wrote:

tino1104 wrote:

megatombomb wrote:

Maybe ought to mention i currently only have a Marantz MCR603 and MA BX2 system which is not filling the room and obviously doesnt do deep bass.  I have a Monitor audio RX 6 speakers on a Pioneer SClX85 AVR and the lack of bass depth again is dissapointing.  Bass depth/power without a Sub is important so i have also wondered about the KEF R900 but no one seems to have written anything onlne about these yet!

I Have the M-CR603 and orginally had the BX2's which i thought were terrible! Upgraded to Kef R100's and the difference is amazing the bass, clarity, musicality and soundstage are so much better, so moving up the Kef R range i'm sure you will love them!

Goes to show speakers make the biggest change in sound!!.. As per the write up of the bose system totally agree with it... I may b looking at that nxt myself who knows. Am more about gettin the right sound for me & no one else!!   Hey its all in the listening  & trusting your own ears!!

 

Gone alittle of topic but just like to point out that at well over double the cost and a somewhat newer design the Kef R100 probably should sound better than the MA BX2.  I do think the MCR603/BX2 combo a bit lifeless and dull sometimes with some music but sometimes blows me away with others.  Its never hard to listen to and due to the front ports on BX2 as opposed to rear on KEf i suspect much easier for positioning in spaces like mine!

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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

If I was looking for an amp for the SCM40's at around £1.5k'ish then I would see if you could get a demo of the Denon PMA-2000AE.

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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

Ah yes indeed must demo.  I have found a company www.audioaffair.co.uk that seems to stock all the products ive been interested in bar the speakers bar perhaps another speaker contender in the shape of ProAc D28.

This topic has now consumed my entire weeked so i feel even more eager to go listen to things.  Got a whole week off at the end of Feb but cant really wait that long to go demo'ing in my current mindframe doh!

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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

megatombomb wrote:

Ah yes indeed must demo.  I have found a company www.audioaffair.co.uk that seems to stock all the products ive been interested in bar the speakers bar perhaps another speaker contender in the shape of ProAc D28.

This topic has now consumed my entire weeked so i feel even more eager to go listen to things.  Got a whole week off at the end of Feb but cant really wait that long to go demo'ing in my current mindframe doh!

Sugden and ProAc are an excellent match.... look forward to your thoughts after demo.

Mac

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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

megatombomb wrote:

Ah yes indeed must demo.  I have found a company www.audioaffair.co.uk that seems to stock all the products ive been interested in bar the speakers bar perhaps another speaker contender in the shape of ProAc D28.

This topic has now consumed my entire weeked so i feel even more eager to go listen to things.  Got a whole week off at the end of Feb but cant really wait that long to go demo'ing in my current mindframe doh!

Sugden and Proac work very nicely together *....the D18 is also terrific.

Have fun with your demos and taking notes often helps sorting things out, especially if you listen to more than a couple of items. Don't jump at the first thing that sounds good, but work your way through as many candidates as possible.

* Edit. Snap  excellent!

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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

Have conjured up another system i bet would sound good to me but it can see no way of getting to try all three together.  Bearing in mind i want good deep bass and dont want a subwoofer slowing things down and i want a detailed rhythmic and musical sound but without harshness i thought the following might go well together:

CD - Shanling CDT2000

Amp - Electrocompaniet ECI 5 mk2

Speakers - Monitor Audio GX300 (or ATC but i worry about not much bass until i try them)

At least they would all look stunning!

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RE: Suggested Hi-Fi system for a near-midlife crisis!

megatombomb wrote:

Have conjured up another system i bet would sound good to me but it can see no way of getting to try all three together.  Bearing in mind i want good deep bass and dont want a subwoofer slowing things down and i want a detailed rhythmic and musical sound but without harshness i thought the following might go well together:

CD - Shanling CDT2000

Amp - Electrocompaniet ECI 5 mk2

Speakers - Monitor Audio GX300 (or ATC but i worry about not much bass until i try them)

At least they would all look stunning!

Great choice of amp and one of the best for its price (imo)......and for speaker matching, it's very versatile. I have heard it sounding well with Kef and Focal; and I know Electro rates it with PMC.

 

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