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Worthy of a Kandy K2 and 685s?

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chambem1's picture
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Hi all,


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I recently bought a Cambridge Audio Azur 540c CD player and Pro-ject Debut III turntable with Cambridge Audio 640p phono stage. The rest of my kit is several years old: a Cambridge Audio A300 amp and a pair of Gale 3020 speakers.


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I’m considering splashing out on a Roksan Kandy K2 amp and a pair of B&W685 speakers. But my question is, will the Azur 540c and Pro-ject Debut III be underperformers in the system? Will I not get the best out of the Kandy K2 and 685s with these two sources?


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Thanks all,


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Mark

tractorboy's picture
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Re: Worthy of a Kandy K2 and 685s?

Many seem to be of the opinion that the source is perhaps of secondary importance to the amplification and speakers - within reason, of course (I think there was another thread on this topic yesterday with somebody from Acoustic Energy voicing this opinion - you might reasonably say they have a vested interest in this theory, but it does ring true with me at least).

The 540C (v2 I presume?) is a very good CD player by any standards, and excellent for the price I would say. Although you could certainly do better, I don't think it will disgrace itself at all with the K2. To significantly better it, I'd say you'd be looking on the wrong side of £500 (new) for an upgrade on the CD player. Second hand is another matter of course.

Actually, I think you could do a lot better than the 685s with the K2, although I'll leave it to others to make recommendations as I'm not too familiar with speakers in the higher price brackets.

As regards the Project, again it will acquit itself well with the K2, but there is more to be gained by upgrading here, assuming that you have the quantity of vinyl to justify it.

plastic penguin's picture
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Re: Worthy of a Kandy K2 and 685s?

Hi Mark


Firstly, the speakers are very good for the money and they will produce a very natural, detailed sound rigged to the Kandy. The B&W are better than their price suggests. Likewise, the Cambridge 540 player is good for the money - but will it make the most of the kandy's true potential? No is the answer.


Depending on your budget, I personally wouldn't partner the Kandy with anything less than the Arcam FMJ CD17 (or the defunct CD73T). Ideally, the Kandy CD player or Cyrus CD6SE are the ideal players to make the Kandy sing. Alternatively, the Rega Apollo or Exposure 2010s are fab, both at £600.


Good luck

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mikeinbrum's picture
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Re: Worthy of a Kandy K2 and 685s?

Don't let the fact that the Kandy and 685s may perform better with a higher class CDP put you off. Why not invest in the best amp and speakers that you can currently afford, and then when funds allow, look to upgrade your CDP. The 540 will do an admirable job until such a time, and you'll be safe in the knowledge that your partnering equipment will perform even better upon your next dip into the market!

manicm's picture
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Re: Worthy of a Kandy K2 and 685s?

tractorboy - and Linn evangelise the opposite, that Source comes first.


From my experience the truth is in the middle but nearer to Linn's. In my old system a change of CD playing duties went from sublime (Technics CDP) to plainly awful (NAD C521i CDP) - amp and speakers remaining the same. I'm not saying the NAD was bad but it broke the synergy in the system - perhaps it would be better in other systems.


I like transparency and image depth in a system (Chebby amazingly likes the same thing reading some of his posts), so to me the source must be fundamentally right for you. And to my logic and ears if the source ain't right no 20k speaker is gonna make a silk purse out of a pig's ear.


On the other hand - poor amplification will destroy the source.


Moral of the story? Amplification + source are equally important. And after that play with speakers.

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tractorboy's picture
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Re: Worthy of a Kandy K2 and 685s?

Poor Chambem1... you must be quite confused by now...

Putting aside our different views on the source vs amplification / speaker issue, I would say mikeinbrum's advice is sound though. Put the money you've got into the amp and speakers now, and later on down the line find a friendly dealer who will do you a home demo on a better CD player to see if you think it's worth the outlay. The amp and speaker upgrade will give you a huge improvement in sound in the meantime with the 540C.

I still say that you can do better than the 685s though. Worth looking around as there seem to be some good deals going on speakers at the moment.

drummerman's picture
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Re: Worthy of a Kandy K2 and 685s?
tractorboy:
... 

I still say that you can do better than the 685s though. Worth looking around as there seem to be some good deals going on speakers at the moment.

Agree. The one thing to watch out for with the K2 products is loose bass and slightly too much of it. Imo a decent match perhaps would be ProAcs. The outgoing range is available at good discounts, I saw some Studio 140's for just over 1k and the smaller ones should be available for significantly less. I've never thought much of B&W's 6 series but that's just me. Try for yourself but don't just settle for one set without listening to some others, if you have the opportunity.

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chambem1's picture
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Re: Worthy of a Kandy K2 and 685s?

Thanks all for your advice. Agree that investing in the amp and speakers now is the way to go, then upgrade the sources later as and when I can afford. I'll also have a look and listen to some other speaker options.


One other thing you may be able to advise on: I listen to a lot of classical music, chamber music mostly (solo piano or violin / quartets etc), as well as nice vocal stuff (Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong etc). But my tastes vary greatly and my partner likes disco / dance music so the system has to do justice to everything ideally, including catering for loud(ish) house parties. Any thoughts on the system I'm thinking of with this in mind? (Bearing in my that ultimatley my tastes are more important than my partners... Smile


Thanks all,


Mark

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Re: Worthy of a Kandy K2 and 685s?



Agree. The one thing to watch out for with the K2 products is loose bass and slightly too much of it. Imo a decent match perhaps would be ProAcs. The outgoing range is available at good discounts, I saw some Studio 140's for just over 1k and the smaller ones should be available for significantly less. I've never thought much of B&W's 6 series but that's just me. Try for yourself but don't just settle for one set without listening to some others, if you have the opportunity.



Ive been down my local hi fi emporium today and had a listen to the K2 amp, and although i liked what i heard i thought the bass was a little lose but...the speakers and the music where an unknown quantity too me(icon floor standers and the eagles new cd) so im orf down there agian later in the week with my quads and some of my cds to have another listen, Its just interesting that my first opinions abelt not ideal, kinda back up your view that the K2 is a little flabby in bass department. Sad we shall see Smile

drummerman's picture
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Re: Worthy of a Kandy K2 and 685s?

It's a good amp, nice build, very smooth and loads of power but the bass is iffy. I have to guess but the Caspian may be a better bet at only slightly more money. Interestingly it is less powerful. An interesting group test of  mid-price systems in another magazine just confirmed what I thought, it also points the Pioneer A-A9 out as a very capable amplifier (with it's matching SACD player), something which I heard under not exactly ideal circumstances at Bristol but it nevertheless managed to sound outstandingly dynamic, open and detailed. Cheaper than the K2 now at discounted prices and perhaps an alternative worth considering.

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garethwd's picture
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Re: Worthy of a Kandy K2 and 685s?

Thing is i want to like the k2, It has a dedicated av line level input with a fixed gain so it would be easy intergreat into my current setup. another option is possibly the cyrus 8vs...i think that the same feature.

Cypher's picture
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Re: Worthy of a Kandy K2 and 685s?

You can also wait for the Rotel RA-1520. A new integrated amp which will be available in the next few months. It's the replacement for the RA-1062 amp.

garethwd's picture
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Re: Worthy of a Kandy K2 and 685s?

Does it have a fixed gain? i quite the rotel sound i used to have a 1062, nice amp!

Cypher's picture
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Re: Worthy of a Kandy K2 and 685s?
garethwd:
Does it have a fixed gain? i quite the rotel sound i used to have a 1062, nice amp!

I only know it's coming out. There is no further infromation available about the Rotel RA-1520.