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$4,500 to fill a big room with HiFidelity plus "thump"

McPyramus

Novice Member
Hello all,

Yes, that's the conundrum - I have a very big open plan living room. My budget is $4.5K.
I need to haul my gear as baggage on a plane (I live somewhere where HiFi has yet to be imported/invented), so weight/size is an issue. I will be buying in the UK on holiday this summer, so there should be plenty of good HiFi about.

I already have a good Musical Fidelity Dac, so all I am looking for is a speaker/amp combo that will allow me to play raggae, blues, and jazz (to mention but a few). I am pulling my hair out trying to decide upon what could be the right combination.

Amp + floorstanders?

Active Speakers?

Amp + floorstanders + sub?

Amp + bookshelf + sub?


All help appreciated.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
They must have shipping to where you live. I suspect if your try to bring a bunch of Audio Gear onto an airline flight, they are going to charge extra, so you end up paying shipping anyway. Better to have a shipping company handle it door-to-door rather they trying the Schlep this stuff around the airport on your own.

As to the equipment, the fact that you have 4.5K DOLLARS to spend tell us you are not in the UK. So ... where are you? US? Canada? Australia? Hong Kong? That also implies you want a pretty nice system. But that fact that you want "Thump" implies that you do now want a very good system.

Now if by 'thump' you simply mean you would like some bass impact, that is something else. "Thump" implies that rather that good bass, you want the illusion of good bass.

So, where are you, what is the specific nationality of the currency you are quoting, and specifically what equipment to you expect to get from your budget? As it stands now, your equipment seems to be limited to Amp and Speakers. No CD? No Turntable? No Network Streaming?

This seems primarily a Music system, but is there a chance you will need or want to connect the TV for Movie watching?

Can you give us the overall dimension of the room?

You certainly have the budget for a very nice system, so no problem there. As to speakers, given that you want some bass emphasis, yes, I'm guessing you would want a Subwoofer. But Subwoofer management is not that easy with a stereo system. Myself, I would consider dumping the considerable Subwoofer money into bigger and better front Floorstanding speakers.

Steve/bluewizard
 

McPyramus

Novice Member
They must have shipping to where you live. I suspect if your try to bring a bunch of Audio Gear onto an airline flight, they are going to charge extra, so you end up paying shipping anyway. Better to have a shipping company handle it door-to-door rather they trying the Schlep this stuff around the airport on your own.

As to the equipment, the fact that you have 4.5K DOLLARS to spend tell us you are not in the UK. So ... where are you? US? Canada? Australia? Hong Kong? That also implies you want a pretty nice system. But that fact that you want "Thump" implies that you do now want a very good system.

Now if by 'thump' you simply mean you would like some bass impact, that is something else. "Thump" implies that rather that good bass, you want the illusion of good bass.

So, where are you, what is the specific nationality of the currency you are quoting, and specifically what equipment to you expect to get from your budget? As it stands now, your equipment seems to be limited to Amp and Speakers. No CD? No Turntable? No Network Streaming?

This seems primarily a Music system, but is there a chance you will need or want to connect the TV for Movie watching?

Can you give us the overall dimension of the room?

You certainly have the budget for a very nice system, so no problem there. As to speakers, given that you want some bass emphasis, yes, I'm guessing you would want a Subwoofer. But Subwoofer management is not that easy with a stereo system. Myself, I would consider dumping the considerable Subwoofer money into bigger and better front Floorstanding speakers.

Steve/bluewizard

Dear Steve,

Many thanks for your reply, and apologies for being so vague.

I am on the shores of the Caspian sea in Baku. Foreign luxury goods here are very "exclusive" and generally at prices we would never pay at home. I don't really trust the postal or freight services, especially with expensive gear - if you get my point.;-)

I am quoting USD (its what I get paid in), and yes, 4,500 is what I have saved together for this wonderful day when I can realise my youthful dreams and upgrade from a budget to a proper hifi. (I used to have a Nad/Marantz/Monitor Audio Set up).

I am listening from my Musical Fidelity Dac, from the Mac using HD digital files.

In addition, I (the wife) have (has) decided not to buy a new car, (it was my decision really) and so this is in a way a treat to myself. (Boy! Around here I make all the important decisions.... and when that day comes - heck, I will be good and ready!)

I listen to female vocal, blues, raggae, trip hop, dance... a bit of a late 80's early 90's casualty, but also eclectic thanks to very cool parents, and music nutcase peers as a student in London. I want my system to open up a Regina Spektor, or Agnes Obel, whilst still thrumming a Tricky or Massive or Major Lazer, whilst bringing together the interplay and fusion of a Ray La Montagne an Otis Taylor or an older Van Morrison. I should be able to hear Bob Dylan's breath through the harmonica, but feel the throb of a Frank Ocean bassline, or Ekamouse, or Underworld, or the melancholy charm of a Morrisey or Robert Smith - and that's just for starters My room is 11x6x3 (Metres) and opens out on both sides in the middle (open Plan). It is a very large space.

I have enquired and British Airways will charge me a not to extortionate amount to ship two extra "bags", and so I expect two large-ish components could be stowed as such - this is doable.

I hope this helps, and I thank you in advance for your help.

McPyramus
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Again, specifically what equipment are we talking about? Is the budget limited to Amp and Speakers?

This is one very very fine system -

~£1000 = Parasound P5 Pre-amp with internal DAC

Parasound P5 Preamplifier

Product Lines > Halo > P 5 2.1 Channel Stereo Preamplifier

~£1000 = Parasound 125w/ch Parasound Power Amp

Parasound HALO A23

Product Lines > Halo > A 23 Two Channel Power Amplifier

That leaves you about £2500/pr for speakers.

A few suggestions -

Dali Mentor 6 Speakers (Pair) for £2,600.00 in Speakers

I just realized that is £4600, you want $4600, which is about £2700, so I will have to rethink. Still the equipment above is first rate.

More reasonable would be the Rotel RA-1570,120w/ch, Bluetooth, DAC-Optical, Coaxial, USB-PC, PHONO, etc...

A bit steep at £1200, but a very nice powerful versatile amp -

Rotel RA1570 Amplifier With DAC - Superfi

That leaves about £1500/pr for speakers.

Highly rated, well-regarded, are the Dali Ikon 6 for a modest £1000/pr -

Dali Ikon 6 MkII Speakers (Pair) for £999.00 in Speakers

Search | Stereophile.com

More modestly, the Rotel RA-12, 60w/ch, DAC, Phono, Bluetooth, etc...

Rotel RA12 Amplifier With DAC - Superfi

That leaves you more money for speakers -

Focal Aria 936 Speakers (Pair) for £2,198.00 in Speakers

The Dali Mentor 6 are probably still in play with a lower priced amp -

Dali Mentor 6 Speakers (Pair) for £2,600.00 in Speakers

Both the Dali's and the Focal are recommended as exceptionally clear speakers.

The Yamaha AS1000 for £999 is a good amp -

Yamaha AS1000 Amplifier - Superfi

The Marantz is a nice amp for £1000 -

Marantz PM8005 Amplifier - Superfi

Rated as the best amp in its price class in the USA.

Of course, these are not the only possibilities, but they do represent nice possibilities, and should get the job done.

At this point more than recommendations, I'm simply trying to establish some perspective.

To narrow it down, you have to think long and hard about what features you want. Do you need a DAC (digital to analog converter)? A DAC makes it very easy to play directly from your computer and to take audio off the TV for movie watching.

Do you want tone controls? Though I rarely use them, I definitely want tone controls. But that's just me.

Are there any other features you need? Size? Shape? Power? Color? Etc...?

Steve/bluewizard
 
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McPyramus

Novice Member
Dear BlueWizard. Thank you so much for this. It has been very helpful and gives me plenty to think about. I have a nice Musical Fidelity DAC. All of your suggestions will help me shorten my "short list" before I go in and listen.

Thank you again!
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Keep in mind that the Rotel have DACs built in. Don't let that stop you though. A spare DAC is never wasted.

Which Musical Fidelity DAC do you have?

Really at this Time I think it is about working out a balance of Quality, Budget, and Size. I could recommend some monster floorstanding, but they are going to be hard to schlep through the airport.

Steve/bluewizard
 

bluedroog

Prominent Member
Get yourself a listen to a pair of active Event Opals, the majority of your budget but the last purchase you'll ever need. I presume your DAC doesn't have a preamp section? You could add a good quality but budget passive pre to control volume or flog the DAC and get yourself a DAC preamp, something like an M-DAC would be a good option, more expensive ones such as the Mytek 192, NAD M51, Benchmark DAC.
 

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