Many thanks AL; very interesting read. The finding that
"..the A3.5 had no difficulty delivering tiny, subtle high-frequency embellishments from high pitched percussion (triangle) with perfect clarity, whilst at the sme time kettledrums were deliverng an accoustic storm against a background of double bass as in Mahler's 9th symphony....This ability not to muddy the waters was also obvious when I listened to the make chorus on John Rutters Requiem because I could here the voices as individuals as clearly as I could heat the whole without having to concentrate on it..."
Is at odds with what I find, and what I want to correct. Therefore the speakers would seem to be the culprit
My dealer stocks B&W Harbeth MA Neat PMC Proac ans Wilson Benesch so plent to choose from
Musical Fidelity A3.5 CD, A3.5 int amp and A5 FM/DAB tuner, Monitor Audio GS10s, Chord Chorus 2 and Odyssey 2
I wonder whether the speaker placement is anissue. 3x4 is not the biggest of rooms and though your MS speakers are compact I seem to remember they are rear ported. They may produce better bass if pulled further out into the room but as this probably is not viable foam bungs may work. Spendor SA1 or Audiosmile Kensai might better suit though both are at their best with a pretty powerful amp. The new Sonus Faber Vertere range looks interesting and i suspect the smaller Spendor floorstanders might be worth listening to too.
so now for the controversy, were I would start is your interconnects if your using standard interconnects, try a single upgrade cable, like QED perfomance the 20pound one if you already have 'quality' interconnects ( and it burns me to say it) try simple cheapo ones, downgrade...yes, I'm passing on Rick of Music Crafts advise, and see how you get on with the sound.
If your sound still fails then change the amp 1st. but be carefull its a dangerous road filled with hidden danger, pitfalls and unsavory types.....
Thanks, I've already upgraded interconnects to Chord Chorus 2 which made a massive difference, and given their price I would expect them to be good for future amplifier upgrade.
I'm still in a quandry as to upgrade speakers or amp first, this comes down to how much enjoyment I'm going to get for the next couple of years until I can do the other half of the upgrade. would the GS10s substantially raise their game with a new amplifier, or are thay holding back the A3.5 amp which could sing with new speakers? As in OP main aim at present is to be more able to separate out instruments and get a little more warmth/emotion.
I'm tempted to try some ex demo PMC 22s on offer at my local dealer (although full price floor standers would give me more of the bass I seek)
have you tried repositioning your speakers, moving them closer/further apart away from walls - those speakers you have are good and may benifit from a better amp - were as a better more 'revealing ' speaker may expose your amps shortfalls even more.
Assuming a reasonable set of gear (which you have), the room will have more effect on the listening experience than any other change you can make. I have a sub which (according to the spec) can produce 1KW continuous, 1.4KW peak - in a relatively small room. Even so, the bass was flabby and gutless. A course of room treatment, speaker repositioning and room equalisation, and exactly the same speaker set up is taught, and a good thump on a kick drum can now blow you off the sofa.
Lack of separation of instruments at higher listening levels could be the amplifier running out of headroom, but equally could be room induced effects.
Google room treatment and room equalisation for more info, there are a lot of good sites out there.
AL's excellent review would definitely point you in the direction of speakers, provided the amp is not in the need of a service..............borrow some speakers and try them in situ.
The comments on room effects are very valid.........and suspended wooden floors are problematic (in case this is an issue), but can be greatly mitigated.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
Yes, thought that too re service, good point. Maybe easier if you take the amp down to the dealer, because then, if the amp proves to be fine, you can audition some speakers.
Mordaunt Short Mezzo System C - 8,5,1,9.Yamaha V2065. SonyS570. Panasonic 42in., Sky HD 1TB. Garrard 86SB. PF30. Wii. WDTV Live. Harmony One. STAX300. QED cabling. Galaxy Tab 10.1
System Photos - http://s1051.photobucket.com/user/robinkidderminster/library/?sort=3&page=1
Base trap Project - http://www.whathifi.com/forum/home-cinema/corner-base-trap-completed-project?page=1
With what you listen to and what you want, the biggest bang for your hard-earned will come from new speakers. Given your budget I wonder if you would have the courage to move off in a different direction. Namely active and AVI ADM 9RS/RSS.
I don't know what warmth means to you but if you want accurate, clear reproduction that can go really loud without ever getting congested or muddled then my EXPERIENCE is that the AVI ADM 9 series could be your next speaker. Bass in your size room should be plentiful and of the very best quality.
The speakers give 2 optical digital and 1 analogue inputs to remote controlled DAC, pre and power amps [matched to the drive units] and speakers. Plus power and interconnect cables for £1250 to £1400.
Many on here will fervently oppose such a move but, as many passive owners of expensive kit have found, they represent excellent sound quality and exceptional value for money. Audition is not so easy, depending where you are, as traditional kit but more than worth the effort.
Apple Lossless - ATV3 - AVI ADM 40 also ATV3 into AVI ADM 9T [my wife's system]
and Grado SR80i
I completely agree with relocated. The AVI ADM9RSS are simply brilliant.
If keeping with a passive set up there is no way I'd change your amp. That's the amp I wanted to upgrade to before I went active. Dual mono, are there suitable MFMonoblocks you can add and then do some proper bi amping, with essentially 4 amplifiers. I think your GS10s will take on a new lease of life. Maybe think about adding a sub (the GS Sub ?) for that extra bit of LF.
TV room : Samsung 60" plasma-ATV3, -AVI ADM40,/Sonos ZP90,, Sky using Sonos for On Demand, PS3
HiFi : Sonos ZP90 - AVI ADM9 RSS + AVI SUB
Bedrooms : 2 x Sonos Play 3
IPad Mini for Sonos & Spotify / AKG K551
I may have £2k for an upgrade. I enjoy my system but I would like to improve some areas and am at a loss whether to replace the amp or speakers, or even buy a new DAC. I listen to classical, rock, jazz, female vocals etc. I split my listening 50/50 between CD and FM.(Radio 3, good roof ariel). ALthough both sources are MF they have different charateristics. CD is punchy and very detailed but rather clinical ( a bit like an over sharpened photo?). FM is more natural but maybe not punchy enough and a little vailed (tuner has a tube output stage and option for upsampled digital out from FM). A major limitation with both is lack of clarity when thinks get busy, instruments all merge into a mush during loud orchestral bits. Also I feel the speakers take away the warmth that should be provided by MF. Led Zepplin is not the same without more bass, but I'm looking for quality rather than quantity My thoughts are to upgrade either the amp (M6i or similar) or the speakers. In the (very) long term maybe both but neet greatest improvement in teh meantime. If going to speakers open to floor standers or stand mounts (I have good filed Foundation stands). Room is 4m x 3m, speakers 0.5m from rear and side walls, hevily furnished, carpet on wood suspended floor So: 1) bearing in mind existing kit would a £2k amp or speaker upgrade offer greatest improvemet? 2)any particualr suggestion for speaker shortlist? 2) would a good DAC improve on and unify CD and FM sound or just be a sideways change? Thanks for any comments
Speakers every time.
Thanks all, really tempted to demo Proac response D2, but at the price worried I may like them too much!
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