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Bye Bye Hifi

Discussion in 'Home Cinema & Hi-Fi' started by commited, 14 Jan 2006.

  1. commited

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,369

    Location: Dublin, Ireland

    Just sold My CD Player, MD, Amp & speakers. :( Worst thing was when I had them set up downstairs, they sounded better than ever. The lure of cold hard cash had them snatched from me. It lasted me 5 years and I got a decent enough price for them though :)

    Currently listening to a Wharfedale DVD player, £30 t-amp & those ropey £20 Ariston speakers from Richersounds (dont ever buy these for anything other then the cheapest rear speaker ever). Dear lord. Help me :o

    On the up side - going to collect some Mission 763 floorstanders tonight for the princely sum of £30 (well, swapping for a t-amp). Well I'll take them if I like them and they arent too bright, but anything has to be better than the Ariston tat.

    I havent quite decided what my upgrade route is, and I didnt really want to sell my stuff before I'd bought the new stuff, but I've been swayed by lots of €20 notes.

    I'm ordering a N.O.S dac next week, which should improve the DVD player enough to use it until I can demo some transports. I'm currently chasing a cheap Arcam Delta 170, but I that may have gone.

    Amp wise, I'm still undecided. Thinking about going for some class-T amps, but there is some fantastically cheap used stuff out there that has me tempted. Class D also looks very interesting, but If I listen to that stuff, I'll be taking out a loan! I'm also planning to build my own Valve Pre-amp - I have the schematics, so I'll order all the stuff over the next couple of weeks.

    The speakers are where I'm totally baffled ( :D ). The range over here has a limited range (B&W, quad, System Audio and lots I cant afford), so I'll probably be making a trip over to the UK with the rest of my stuff & demoing lots of stuff. Hopefully around March (suggestions of decent places greatly appreciated - budget up to £600, ideally second hand though)

    Mark
     
  2. Mr_Sukebe

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 23 Dec 2002

    Posts: 9,052

    Location: London

    Some thoughts:
    - I'd recommend against buying a transport just yet unless it's very cheap. I did find that there was an improvement on adding a dedicated one to my DAC, but the difference wasn't that enourmous, and I think you'd get more for your money by using your DVD as transport and blowing the dosh on a better amp. At a later date you can sort out the transport when you've spare wonga sitting around.
    - Speakers are very personal and often room dependant, so I'm not going to give a suggestion. For £600 s/h, there are a LOT of options. You could check out the Emporium, Central Audio and Audio-T s/h kit, the usual auction website and also TomToms (bought my Impulse horns from him, seems like a nice enough chap). Before you do any of that, you need to think about what you want from your speakers. ALL of them are a compromise of one sort or another, so decide what you REALLY want (or as the case maybe are REALLY trying to avoid), then drop us a line.
    - There's not many class Ds around. The TACT SDA whatever is meant to be pretty good, but I've never heard one. Have heard one of their fully digital units and hated it. Made amazing hi-fi, lousy music. My Belcanto Evo2i is an obvious thing to checkout. They're available for around £1200 s/h (£3000 when new) and IMO are a challenge for anything I've ever heard. That's one reason for keeping back the dosh from the transport. I've read that there are some big brother versions of the Sonic-T, but I've never heard or seen one.
     
  3. 9designs2

    Mobster

    Joined: 5 Jan 2003

    Posts: 3,418

    Location: Somewhere in the middle

    Think I would echo a lot of what Mr_S says here, keep the DVD player for now as a transport, or get a bit better one.
    Not heard a NOSDAC yet, still waiting for Mr_S to bring one around and spank my Unidisk ;)
    Amp wise for me to keep the budget under control there is one, if you can find it...as I've post recently a used Inca Tech Claymore. 80's superstar !... Has MOSFETs, which give a valve like smoothness and musicality with the power of normal transistors, it's very fluid and tuneful. Plus some simple internal mods make it better than I would say anything under a grand, including pre-powers. One sold the other day for £130. Yep I had one, spanked a 8000A, better than Nait, and tweaked better then Exposure Pre-Power and 42/140 etc.
    Opinion seems mixed on the new Class D stuff, from what I've read they don't do subtlety !! Would say would need very careful matching to speakers.
    Of which can't avoid getting out to some dealers etc and find a brand that works for you.
    Try also try getting to Wilmslow Audio if you come over, they do Kit stuff, then build and customise you own speakers. You end up with hi end drive units and mid range cost, that you can "voice" to your taste.
     
  4. commited

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,369

    Location: Dublin, Ireland

    My thoughts exactly. I think I'll get a cheap CD player, or cheap transport if I can find one as the DVD player takes about 20 seconds to load a disc and it's getting pretty irritating after one night!
    Agreed on personal & room dependant. The emporium is definately somewhere I want to go - I've been drooling over the stuff in there for a few years now!
    I just picked up the set of Mission 763's. I'm quite impressed for the price. They are lower than my 602's so my TV is no longer getting in the way which is nice and it's giving me better imaging. They aren't quite as good as my 602s but they're accpetable. They sounded quite bright when I demo'd them, but now I've got them home they are less so. Must be the DVD player!
    It's quite silly that a setup that cost me £110 has me tapping my feet, bobbing my head and enjoying the music!

    I'm going to go for a better class-T amp based on the TA2020 I think. There's alot of fuss going around them on alot of the audio forums, so it's something to check out. I want to hear the Belcanto, but right now that is ALOT of money for me. I think that'll be something I'll have to hold back on until after I go travelling and I'm earning a proper crust! I definately wouldnt mind hearing one though!

    We have an identical *** Dac to Mr_S's downstairs, so I know I want one of them :D

    If I'm not going the class T route, I'm going to hold out for a Meridian 101 and 105 monoblock set up. It's what my father has and they are ridiculously good. Including a Meridian service, I'd be looking at about £500 for the set up.

    I'm doing the speakers last as, in my opinion, they're the biggest variable in the whole system.
    Interesting re the Wilmslow audio speakers - would they stock single driver full range speakers? Always wanted to listen to a pair.
     
  5. 9designs2

    Mobster

    Joined: 5 Jan 2003

    Posts: 3,418

    Location: Somewhere in the middle

    Yep you have a lot of variables there. Think I would try and a few complete system setups at dealers, to get an idea where you want of go as a "whole" performance. With that much diversity, system synergy is a nightmare to achieve. You could spend years "upgrading" and chasing a sound you can't find. I always think the goal is achieving a set-up who's performance is greater than the sum of it's parts. That's when it "sings" and plays music. Which normally means buying "best buys" or individual favourites doesn't build a total system well.
    Sometimes starting with the speakers, which give a presentation you most like is easier. Then find the electronics that best exploit the bit's you like about them.
     
  6. commited

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,369

    Location: Dublin, Ireland

    Of course I'm not going to buy "best buys" ;) In fact none of what I'm going to pick even registers on most of the "hifi" magazines.

    I know exactly where I'm going for the front end, so that's decided. (although I'm starting to get the vinyl itch after listening to an Ariston RDII last night.)

    I've heard lots and lots of complete setups in my time from shows and stuff and the best I've ever heard was a set of 300B monoblocks and a pair of Spendor BC1's. Best Solid state system is my fathers with vinyl or a Mark Levinson/B&W 800 setup with CD. Neither of these are really reachable at the moment! The TA2020 based class-T amps are meant to give a valve-esque sound when partnered with a valve pre-amp, some guys ditching their valve amps for them, so it's something I want to try out. I can sell them for more than I paid if I dont get along with them.


    Speakers are seeming quite bright now with some recordings which is a little irritating. Could well be the t-amp though, something the B&Ws could well have masked.