A questions of oomph


Novice Member
So... I was here before with my newbie thread, and now I feel obliged to follow up with basically yet another newbie thread.


I've cobbled together a system that I really like: Linn Keilidh speakers, Wakonda preamp with phono stage, LK140 amp, a Philips CD753, and a Pro-ject Debut Carbon. The sound coming from this is really really excellent, and a perfect match to my tastes.

So now I am left with some purchases that I can't really get behind, and I was wondering if anyone could help me combine them in such a way (by getting rid of some, replacing others, adding new items, whatever) that I will get some oomph out of them (for a second system, basically).

I have a Cambridge Audio Azur 651p, which, when hooked up between the turntable and the Wakonda sounds a little... meh. Not enough oomph, but I guess pretty good detail when you play it some Simon & Garfunkel. When hooked up to some Mission 770 Freedom speakers in a smaller room (wooden floor, furniture, lots of books), the detail is still there, and the whole thing sounds a little less tinny, but still lacking my elusive oomph.

I also have a Cyrus 6vs2 integrated amp, that produces really excellent sound when combined with the Cambridge phono stage and the turntable... but only through headphones (a set of Sennheiser high-end headphones, but also through Sennheiser regular headphones). With both the Linn speakers and the old Mission speakers the Cyrus/Cambridge sounds a little... meh, again. I guess solid detail in the highs, but no effort on the lows. The Black Keys' "Brothers" album really is not pleasant to listen to on this set-up.

Is the lack of oomph, and the abundance of meh due to the Cambridge? The Cyrus? The speakers? The combination? I really don't know...

Tied to this the following question: if I want to keep the Cambridge and the Cyrus (provided it is not some universally frowned upon, unholy combination)... what book shelve speakers would still be able to perform decently? I find the Mission 770 to be decent enough (but only in a small, furniture-loaded, book-covered room), but lacking some oomph. The bass is there, but it's like no-one could be bothered to develop and present it properly (could be the speakers, could be the Cambridge, could be the Cyrus...). Plus the Missions are too big to put anywhere where I could still move them into a correct position (I know, should've thought of this when I got them...).

By the way, the cables this has been tested with are Van Den Hul Snowline cables, not super I guess, but decent enough.

Sorry for the long post... somewhere in there there is a cry for help and possibly a question.



Established Member
My experience of mission/cyrus amps (I haven't listened to your model) is that they tend toward a more ... delicate sound. If you have the funds you could add a sub to boost the lower end?


Novice Member
@Gaspode_TWD: Thanks for the response!


I'm not against a subwoofer I would say, and the funds grow themselves as long as I can make myself go to work every day, but I think for now (coming few months) I would want something that would be decent enough to also be tolerable without a subwoofer. Then I can always add the subwoofer later. I think I read somewhere I can hook the subwoofer up to the Cyrus 6vs2 using its pre-out? Then again... that might be the stupidest, most uneducated thing I have said so far.


Would you have any recommendation regarding oomph as opposed to meh if I were to say suggest adding (or rather, replacing the Mission 770 Freedom speakers with) something along the lines of a Kef Q300 set, or BW 685 S2, or Dali Zensor 3? I realize they're not all exactly on the same price range, but just as an idea. Or is that completely useless?



Established Member
Hi, sorry I've not been back here for a few days. In my experience the power amp is the bit that usually add the real sense of drive. Not in terms of just lots of watts but more in the quality of the power supply. My suspicion is that swapping speakers would be more of a sideways move. If you're going to listen to alternative speakers take the amp with you to see how the combination sounds. Its possible, if you found some that are very efficient, that they might cure the shortfall.


Prominent Member
Not enough oomph

If you haven't already, you owe it to yourself to have a listen to active speakers (or active studio [near-field] monitors) - oomph aplenty - then if you're impressed, work out a way of incorporating them into the system. Even cheap active speakers can give a sense of life, verve, excitement, oomph that you're missing (and I can't get from reasonably priced passive speakers).

I suppose your budget would be determined by how much cash you get for the gear you sell off but I'd suggest taking a look at the active speaker offerings from pro-audio sites such as these:

Studio Monitors For Sale at Gear4music.com

Active Studio Monitors, Active Monitor Speakers, Cheap Monitor Speakers

Studio Monitors at Studiospares

Active Nearfield Monitors - Thomann UK

Well respected manufacturers of active speakers include: Mackie, KRK, Dynaudio, PMC, Focal, Acoustic Energy, Event, Adam, Eve, Fostex, M-Audio, Yamaha, Neumann, Genelec, Barefoot Sound etc etc.

A more domesticated option:

AVI Hi-Fi | a passion for sound


Novice Member
No worries @Gaspode_TWD ... I wasn't expecting answers within the hour.


I understand the idea of the amp being the "culprit", as in, not that many speaker changes (bookshelf types within roughly the same price bracket) are going to significantly change the sound. I agree I should take the amp with me to go listen to some speakers, so I was hoping some people on here might have experience with the Cyrus amp and could point me in a certain direction regarding speakers. I've since managed to find my way to some Cyrus forums however, and they seem to suggest Dali and Kef speakers might not be the best for this amp (still speaking about bookshelf speakers here), but that rather Dynaudio might be a good match. So... I will be trying that combination out shortly.


@dogfonos : thanks for the tip! I hadn't thought of that option yet, so good tip.


I will write back how I fare with the Dynaudio's...


Novice Member
@TomScrut : haha... no worries, sometimes I get so wordy that I image I'm pretty hard to follow.


Tried the Dynaudio DM 6/2's by the way, and they are actually kind of good with the Cyrus 6vs2 integrated amp and Cambridge Audio Azur 651p phono stage. The bass and the rest of the oomph is pretty well represented now, though a really critical person might say the bass every once in a while gets exaggerated. Then again, that might be due to the fact I have only tried them with their backs against (and of course slight away from) a window with a cloth blind in front of it. I image the bass will clean up when they are in front of and slightly away from a regular wall.

In conclusion, I'm a pretty happy camper again, with my now complete second set (got the Dynaudio's on a pretty good deal for 240 pounds for the pair). Thanks again for all the help!

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