Thanks Nic. I have a couple of options on what i do as the cd on my onkyo micro wont load and i was thinking of attaching my current CD player (CD6003) to that and replacing the main one in my lounge. Alternatively i could spend £100 on a repair or spend £200 on a new one or spend £80 on another AE. My wife wouldn't be too keen on me shelling out £2.5k straight off on the three replacement parts of my system so i will have to do it gradually. CD player or Amp first and speakers last as all things considered they are probably the ones that could take superior electronics without being embarassed. For my needs i would want to test the new KEF's as they are small but powerful and also around £800 so spending a similar amount on each part. I cant get the speakers too far apart in my house, just 1.5 metres and from the reports i have read that wont be too much of a problem for them.
Re the audilab, as the 684's are in theory cheaper and smaller than the 685's then it would seem that they should sound good although i will be auditioning. As it has a DAC it will make the streaming sound better as well. No doubt i will be back on here in a few months asking for advice on a new amp!!
Have you considered the likes of Harman Kardon's HD990 CDP? That had a great sound to it but also came with a DAC you could hook up external sources to. Nice sleek player, great sound, good build. Was £500 on release, but you should find it in a few dealers for a good bit less now. Might need to shop around a bit though. HK are a great brand but not as high profile as the likes of Arcam, Rega, etc. Products are just as good though.
Onkyo TX-NR818 / Tannoy Revolution DC4 (bi-amped)
AVI Laboratory Series CD Player
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