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

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

Last weekend i turned 30.  For many years i have enjoyed listening to the hi-fi system my old man built up for himself during the late 1970's but i have never had the budget or the time to indulge in one for myself.  Sadly he passed away a year ago and i promised myself to follow in his footsteps and build myself a system i could love for years to come and finally properly listen to my 500 or so CD's on!.  After much deliberating and reading reviews i have an idea of a system that i think would suit my wants.There is little to read online about the Shanling CDT2000 cd player but for sheer retro cool style and from what ive read it would cost uber money to better it sonically.  I am practically sold on this player on looks alone it is a shame there is nowhere near me i have found to demo one but based on what ive read about its tonal balance, it is what i want.For the speakers i am also sold on the thought of the ATC SCM40's.  Again from what ive read online they have the right transparancy to allow something like the valve outputs of the Shanling player to shine through.  I have a medium (5x6M) listening room based in effectively a roof with a heavily sloped ceiling which makes it less than ideal so the fact the ATC's are sealed makes the positioning almost irrelevent to affecting the bass performance.  Again i have not yet demo'd a pair and am looking to do so.Last i have been looking to find a suitable amplification up to £1500.  From what ive read the ATC's need current and power which is hard to get without spending alot on a full seperate pre and power combo.  The amp has me most puzzled so it would be great to hear from anyone who uses an integrated amp under £1500 that gets good results with the ATC's.  So far have looked at the Yamaha AS2000 but on paper at least it would seem the new Cambridge Audio 851A is practically a one box pre and power amp solution with power to spare so maybe this would be better.  My listening varies from quiet late nite to loud early eves and sunday afternoons so good dynamics are a must.Of course its all speculation without hearing and it'll be very difficult to hear them all together but it would be great to hear from any owners or anyone with experience of the above to get some more food for thought.

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

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!

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

megatombomb wrote:

Last weekend i turned 30.  For many years i have enjoyed listening to the hi-fi system my old man built up for himself during the late 1970's but i have never had the budget or the time to indulge in one for myself.  Sadly he passed away a year ago and i promised myself to follow in his footsteps and build myself a system i could love for years to come and finally properly listen to my 500 or so CD's on!.  After much deliberating and reading reviews i have an idea of a system that i think would suit my wants.There is little to read online about the Shanling CDT2000 cd player but for sheer retro cool style and from what ive read it would cost uber money to better it sonically.  I am practically sold on this player on looks alone it is a shame there is nowhere near me i have found to demo one but based on what ive read about its tonal balance, it is what i want.For the speakers i am also sold on the thought of the ATC SCM40's.  Again from what ive read online they have the right transparancy to allow something like the valve outputs of the Shanling player to shine through.  I have a medium (5x6M) listening room based in effectively a roof with a heavily sloped ceiling which makes it less than ideal so the fact the ATC's are sealed makes the positioning almost irrelevent to affecting the bass performance.  Again i have not yet demo'd a pair and am looking to do so.Last i have been looking to find a suitable amplification up to £1500.  From what ive read the ATC's need current and power which is hard to get without spending alot on a full seperate pre and power combo.  The amp has me most puzzled so it would be great to hear from anyone who uses an integrated amp under £1500 that gets good results with the ATC's.  So far have looked at the Yamaha AS2000 but on paper at least it would seem the new Cambridge Audio 851A is practically a one box pre and power amp solution with power to spare so maybe this would be better.  My listening varies from quiet late nite to loud early eves and sunday afternoons so good dynamics are a must.Of course its all speculation without hearing and it'll be very difficult to hear them all together but it would be great to hear from any owners or anyone with experience of the above to get some more food for thought.

I have run my scm 40s with an old audio lab 8000a with good results  I would recommend you listen to a roksan caspian m 2 I think you could find an ex dem one for £1500 this is a great amp and should do your system justice  good luck in your search

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

"

a near-midlife crisis!"

 

At 30... c'mon; wait till you are 50... then ya say mid-life....    woohoo!

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

visit a good dealer for a demo , many problems a buying blind

ideal get a home loan - your music , your room - your taste

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

Hi,

Don't worry 30! it's only a number.

The Shanling CDP, is that the one at Audio Emotion? if so, I recommend you give Gary or Mark a call and discuss your requirements with them... great guys and they will allow home demoes.

Just had a look through their used/ex demo amps and I'm sure there's something amongst that lot they would come up with.

I don't want to start another debate on ATC speakers, but at least I have had apair in the past and can speak from experience.  Just a word of caution, if you have made up your mind on the 40's, with the wrong components, they can be quite unforgiving... again Gary and Mark can always steer you in the right direction on this count.

I believe there is another forum member who has Icon Audio paired with their SCM40's and very pleased with the results.

Cno is the guy when it comes to KEF so hopefully he can chip in re the R900's.

Let us know how you get on.

Mac

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

Have you considered the active ATCs? They are pricey and you would perhaps need to carefully source second hand. ADM40s would perhaps also do the job.

Your rom dimensions don't seem to be too challenging as far as size goes, but certainly the little Marantz might struggle when you do want it louder.

ATC SCM50ASL or ATC SCM50ATSL would be the ones comparable in size to the SCM 40s.

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

I would have thought that the SCM20SL AT would be closest to the ADM40. Would love to hear some one day!

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

Alantiggger wrote:

"

a near-midlife crisis!"

 

At 30... c'mon; wait till you are 50... then ya say mid-life....    woohoo!

 

+1

30, a mere whippersnapper!

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

hoopsontoast wrote:

I would have thought that the SCM20SL AT would be closest to the ADM40. Would love to hear some one day!

They would, but I was trying to find somthing similar to the SCM40s and I reckon the 50s would be the closest.

Any of them are a bit beyond my means for now though.

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

Just turned 30 ? Pah , you're still just a boy !

    I will say this not to start any sort of argument but just to give you another possible  line of thought . Three years ago I upgraded my fairly ancient system to a pair of ATC SCM 11 speakers and Audiolab 8000s and 8000p amplifiers to go with a Marantz CD52 and Origin Live Calypso turntable . This works fine but it is not ideally situated at the moment so could probably perform better . However , I see this as an intermediary system until such time as I have enough money to go " A bit better" . To this end I had a hankering to go up to the SCM40s or even , perish the thought , going active and their SCM 20ASLs . But the latter were a lot of money a rather big .

  However , within the last year I have become aware of another company that produces active speakers that don't take up too much room and are not prohibitively expensive . This company is also known by three letters beginning with "A" and the speakers in question also have the number "40" in it title ( sorry to be so enigmatic but , shall we say , they are not universally loved around here ! ) . To me they look as if they could be a very good solution to my hifi needs . I haven't heard either of the 40s so I can't comment on how good they are , but when the time is right I will give them both a demo to see how they compare . Though I must admit , the ATC speakers may be the underdogs in this instance .

  I will leave it to members here who have either set of speakers to give you a better idea what they sound like .

  This is just my two cents worth and other people will probably give you better suggestions .  

 

  I took some time typing this so there have been a number of comments since I started  that sort of complement mine .

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

toyota man wrote:

megatombomb wrote:

Last weekend i turned 30.  For many years i have enjoyed listening to the hi-fi system my old man built up for himself during the late 1970's but i have never had the budget or the time to indulge in one for myself.  Sadly he passed away a year ago and i promised myself to follow in his footsteps and build myself a system i could love for years to come and finally properly listen to my 500 or so CD's on!.  After much deliberating and reading reviews i have an idea of a system that i think would suit my wants.There is little to read online about the Shanling CDT2000 cd player but for sheer retro cool style and from what ive read it would cost uber money to better it sonically.  I am practically sold on this player on looks alone it is a shame there is nowhere near me i have found to demo one but based on what ive read about its tonal balance, it is what i want.For the speakers i am also sold on the thought of the ATC SCM40's.  Again from what ive read online they have the right transparancy to allow something like the valve outputs of the Shanling player to shine through.  I have a medium (5x6M) listening room based in effectively a roof with a heavily sloped ceiling which makes it less than ideal so the fact the ATC's are sealed makes the positioning almost irrelevent to affecting the bass performance.  Again i have not yet demo'd a pair and am looking to do so.Last i have been looking to find a suitable amplification up to £1500.  From what ive read the ATC's need current and power which is hard to get without spending alot on a full seperate pre and power combo.  The amp has me most puzzled so it would be great to hear from anyone who uses an integrated amp under £1500 that gets good results with the ATC's.  So far have looked at the Yamaha AS2000 but on paper at least it would seem the new Cambridge Audio 851A is practically a one box pre and power amp solution with power to spare so maybe this would be better.  My listening varies from quiet late nite to loud early eves and sunday afternoons so good dynamics are a must.Of course its all speculation without hearing and it'll be very difficult to hear them all together but it would be great to hear from any owners or anyone with experience of the above to get some more food for thought.

I have run my scm 40s with an old audio lab 8000a with good results  I would recommend you listen to a roksan caspian m 2 I think you could find an ex dem one for £1500 this is a great amp and should do your system justice  good luck in your search

   The Yamaha as2000 has plenty of power ,with it's big motor sound.    Smile

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

shropshire lad wrote:

Just turned 30 ? Pah , you're still just a boy !

    I will say this not to start any sort of argument but just to give you another possible  line of thought . Three years ago I upgraded my fairly ancient system to a pair of ATC SCM 11 speakers and Audiolab 8000s and 8000p amplifiers to go with a Marantz CD52 and Origin Live Calypso turntable . This works fine but it is not ideally situated at the moment so could probably perform better . However , I see this as an intermediary system until such time as I have enough money to go " A bit better" . To this end I had a hankering to go up to the SCM40s or even , perish the thought , going active and their SCM 20ASLs . But the latter were a lot of money a rather big .

  However , within the last year I have become aware of another company that produces active speakers that don't take up too much room and are not prohibitively expensive . This company is also known by three letters beginning with "A" and the speakers in question also have the number "40" in it title ( sorry to be so enigmatic but , shall we say , they are not universally loved around here ! ) . To me they look as if they could be a very good solution to my hifi needs . I haven't heard either of the 40s so I can't comment on how good they are , but when the time is right I will give them both a demo to see how they compare . Though I must admit , the ATC speakers may be the underdogs in this instance .

  I will leave it to members here who have either set of speakers to give you a better idea what they sound like .

  This is just my two cents worth and other people will probably give you better suggestions .  

 

  I took some time typing this so there have been a number of comments since I started  that sort of complement mine .

hey Lad, I wouldn't worry about mentioning AVI around here,they obviously make very good speakers and the op would be wise to include them in all his demoing. Surprised he doesn't get enough bass from the rx6's though

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

Thanks all for the comments so far especially for reminding me that my 30 years age is nothing to be concerned about Smile

No one has yet commented on the Cambridge Audio amp even though for my budget it is on paper ideal.

I cannot stretch to the active ATC's on my budget but i would go to £3k on the speakers if they were what i wanted.

Had also considered the Monitor Audio GX300's but my experience with the RX6's and their lack of low end bass tuning has put me off a little. As good as they are through the pioneer AV amp (movies are awesome) there is no low end on music in pure direct2 channel mode when played through a Denon DBP2012ud.  I love sealed box bass as it never seems to favour one frequency range.  I once stuffed old socks in the port holes of my first ever hifi speakers and although the bass amount reduced the quality improved and could be easily compensated for with an equaliser.

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

Hi there

My midlife crisis (49) ended up with me getting my system (and substantially lightening my bank account)....and I don't regret it for a minute.

My advice is to try and avoid any preconceived notions and make a list of good stuff to demo....especially with the money you are looking to spend.

For speakers, as well as ATC, look at Kef (R Series); Focal; PMC (Twenty Series) and Usher

For amps, possibly consider Electrocompaniet; Sugden; Icon Audio; Pathos and Musical Fidelity.

A system is all about synergy and compatibility, so try different pairings.....and try not be influenced by what other people say is good.

FWIW. I think ATC should work well with valves upstream.

Let us know how things go.

 

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