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A85/P90 Against Fmj 32 Next upgrade advice

kev0098

Established Member
Hi Guys,

I have a A85/P90 and Cd73 combo running Spendor S5e
with fantastic results!

My queston .... Next upgrade

Do i buy the Fmj 32 amp or Diva Cd192 player

Will my P90 still work with the Fmj 32 till i can afford to change it ?

All advise welcome........
 

Baaz

Standard Member
I'd take a look at the new A38 first :)

P90 should work with both A32 and A38 for Bi-amping. I belive all Arcam amplifiers use the same gain.

/B
 

oceanrower

Established Member
Well your amps will never sound better than your cd-source so I would go for the CD-player.

I have an A85 which I ran with a DV89 for CDs (as it was better than my Alpha 1). Then I upgraded to FMJ CD33T and the sound was even better. But, worth noting: The best upgrade came from getting an Audioquest King Cobra interconnect, a mainsconditioner and then later from a propper hifi-rack. The mainsconditioner giving the best (and cheapest) upgrade.
 

LPspinner

Established Member
Hi kev0098

In my view, if you want an Arcam based upgrade then go for a CD192 upgrade for the CD73, or save up your cash and go for a new CD37 if you want to give the latest Arcam CD player a spin.

In my opinion the sonic differences between amplifiers is very minor and as long as the amplifiers are not allowed to start clipping (and you have to pushing the A85 / P90 pretty hard to make these amplifiers clip) there are greater gains to had by improving either you’re CD player (the cheapest piece of your kit at the moment) or maybe looking at getting better speakers. Speakers will still have the biggest overall impact in the sound of any system.

And that bring me to another observation. I think the biggest gain you could make will be your speakers. The little Spendors are a nice little piece of kit but your amplification could easily drive something a little bigger and more upmarket. If you like the Spendor sound think about a pair of S6e’s or even the S8e’s. Your current amplifiers are well and truly capable of handling the bigger two way Spendors or most of the other similarly priced speakers.

LPSPinner.
 

GW43

Prominent Member
Being a bit tangential here, but in terms of the biggest improvement £ for £, I got this from a square of chipboard under each speaker stand. Bass resonances through my suspended wooden floor (I suspect) were killing the midrange.

I'd had the spikes going through the carpet to the floorboards - now the carpet acts as a sound insulator, and the speakers (on stands) sort of "float" on the carpet.

For: cheap, and it works (for me anyway)!
Against: chipboard has zero WAF! Going to try painted mdf

There's a whole thread on this somewhere, under the title of "Best £20 I ever spent" or something.
 

PenguinHiFi

Established Member
Hi,

Here's my own advice.

First of all : if you think your system works superbly, don't change it. What you should know is that upgrading one element might stress the weaknesses of another and soon you'll find yourself looking ofr a new change... So, if you like what you have, think twice before changing anything. By experience, I know that, reaching a level like yours, each significant improvement will cost a lot of money to be fully effective.

Second of all : you should really think of what direction you're headed. For now, you have a stereo system. But what if tomorrow you're thinking of Home-Theater ? Why that consideration ? Well, that is a determinant for your source and control choice...

Third of all : a CD192 ? Good player but find one used for a really low price. Less than 300£ I'd say. Remember that the new CD17 and CD37 are out and the CD17 is 500£ new. And the CD37 1000£ new. For the CD37, that's about the price of the CD192 new and it adds the SACD playback ability.

Fourth of all : as stated in some other posts : try out minor tweaks (sorbothane feet, spikes, cables...). That may be worth the money. And you'll be able to keep those even if you change your gear later...

Last of all : speakers change will affect the sound greatly. But remember that speakers cannot recreate information that has been lost by the amplifier ; and the amplifier cannot recrete information that the pre-amp has lost ; and a pre-amp cannot retrive information that the source doesn't give him. For now, your system is coherent, and that's what makes it sound good. If you want to improve things, you should in fact begin by the CD player, then the pre-amp, then the amps and then the speakers, even though you might be tempted to change the speakers firts, as that change will give the more audible results.

Regards.

PenguinHiFi
 

GW43

Prominent Member
Last of all : speakers change will affect the sound greatly. But remember that speakers cannot recreate information that has been lost by the amplifier ; and the amplifier cannot recrete information that the pre-amp has lost ; and a pre-amp cannot retrive information that the source doesn't give him. For now, your system is coherent, and that's what makes it sound good. If you want to improve things, you should in fact begin by the CD player, then the pre-amp, then the amps and then the speakers, even though you might be tempted to change the speakers firts, as that change will give the more audible results.

If you look at the three things that will most determine the quality of what you hear, they are (in order, source first): the quality of the source material, the speakers and the room acoustics.

We've all come across recordings that really make our systems sing, and others that sound poor whatever.

After the source material, in terms of introducing distortion into what we hear, speakers and/or room acoustics are the next biggest culprit.

Most of us with a sex-life are unlikely to be able to do much in the way of room treatment (unless you have a dedicated listening room), so it's down to the speakers.

Given the quality your current kit, I'd agree with the poster above that significant improvement will cost a significant amount.

I'm not a cable believer, so that leaves small tweaks to your environment that have a high WAF (or are not noticed!). My chipboard plinths went unnoticed for almost an hour!
 

kev0098

Established Member
Hi Everybody,

Firstly thanks for the advise,

Ok,

My Spendors sit on isolation platforms 30 mm thick Solid (Dense) granite - Was one of the best upgrades i made !!!

Cables, Speakers are running Chord Odyssey 4 and Interconnects are Chrod Chamelion

Sevenoaks (Brighton)

Have for offer Cd192 £500 or Fmj32 £700 and P35 £500

Hense my dilemers ?
 

evans

Established Member
M8 if your system is good try the Belkin power surge protector/isolator. Really made a big difference in the sound and also PQ of all visual components connected to it but especially sound! its only around 60 euro for 8 slot device. The CD player you should try before buying to see if the difference is worth it.
 

ShadowWarrior

Established Member
Upgrade the A85. I had A85/P90 driving FB1s with Naim CD5 front end. Got a C31 preamp on ebay for less than £400. The most increadible difference I ever heard, and it's driven by the P90 to my complete satisfaction. The most night and day upgrade I ever did!
 

PenguinHiFi

Established Member
Hi Everybody,

Have for offer Cd192 £500

Hi Kev,

Before you get the CD192 for 500£, I'd wait for the CD17 to be released.
Then, go to your dealer, and ask to listen to both players.
The CD17 costs 550£ in France, so I guess it wil cost 499£ in UK.
500£ for used DIVA vs. 500£ for new FMJ ? If the CD17 is at least as good as the CD192, then dilemma vanishes ;-)

Regards.

PENGUINHIFI
 

ianmacd

Established Member
The 192 from 7oaks is not 2nd hand its brand new. They also have (well had as I am not sure if they still have them) CD36's for £699.
 

Clive197

Established Member
Hi Kev,

Before you get the CD192 for 500£, I'd wait for the CD17 to be released.
Then, go to your dealer, and ask to listen to both players.
The CD17 costs 550£ in France, so I guess it wil cost 499£ in UK.
500£ for used DIVA vs. 500£ for new FMJ ? If the CD17 is at least as good as the CD192, then dilemma vanishes ;-)

Regards.

PENGUINHIFI

No! No! No!
The CD192 is much better than the new CD17 which replaced and improved upon the CD73.
The CD192 was similar though not quite as good as the FMJ CD36, most of the difference being in build and component quality. The FMJ CD37 is an improvement on the CD36 and also adds SACD playback as well as being 30% cheaper than the out-going model.
If budget is a real concideration than if SSAV Brighton will supply the CD192 for £500, then go for it. Otherwise save for the CD37 if you want an all Arcam system.

Clive
__________________________
A38 inc. phono board/P38/DV139/Cyrus CD8se/PSX-R/Linn LP12/Ortofon Kontrapunct B/Spendor S8e/Chord Co. Signature Int. and Spk. cables.
 
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Dankeech

Prominent Member
Would one of the moderators, Please archive this thread have been trying and can't !

With Thanks

Kevin

Hi Kevin, not sure what you mean, please rephrase.

Cheers,

Dan.
 

LPspinner

Established Member
No! No! No!
The CD192 is much better than the new CD17 which replaced and improved upon the CD73.
The CD192 was similar though not quite as good as the FMJ CD36, most of the difference being in build and component quality. The FMJ CD37 is an improvement on the CD36 and also adds SACD playback as well as being 30% cheaper than the out-going model.
If budget is a real concideration than if SSAV Brighton will supply the CD192 for £500, then go for it. Otherwise save for the CD37 if you want an all Arcam system.

Like Clive Says... The CD 192 internally is pretty much the same as a CD36, They both use the same “Multi-Dac” upsampling D to A converter board, the same CD transport and controller chip set. The only real difference between the CD192 and The CD 36 is the FMJ casing and the “enhanced” twin transformer and PSU in the CD36. Some would have you believe the sonic performance of the CD36 is streets ahead of the CD192, to my ears there is only a minor difference in sound between the two players. I think the price differential between the CD192 and the CD36 would be better put toward an upgrade in the speaker department, in my situation this yielded a much more noticeable and definite improvement to my system.

As to the differences between the CD17 and the CD37 I haven’t heard them back to back so I can’t unequivocally tell. But like Clive197, I should imagine that sonic performance the CD192 should sit somewhere in between these two newer players from Arcam and probably closer to the CD37 than the CD17. At the moment the most cost effective upgrade is to have the CD73 to CD192 upgrade kit fitted. The upgrade kit involves fitting a CD192/CD36 multi-DAC board to your current CD73. It is also comforting to know that the CD transport & laser assembly in the CD73, CD192 and CD36 is in common usage and very widely used by many CD player manufacturers (Arcam was wise to use this off the shelf solution for a CD transport), so sourcing spare parts for an older machine like your CD73/CD192 is not going to be an issue for a very long time.

LPSPinner.
 

GYRODEC1

Established Member
Hello,

Why is Kevin so keen to close this thread?

Has he made a mistake!

:eek:
 

kev0098

Established Member
Hello,

Why is Kevin so keen to close this thread?

Has he made a mistake!

:eek:

No, no mistake i was under the impression when the problem / advice reqiured had been received you closed a thread, if this different i'm sorry. I have now made my upgrade with pleasing results...

Hope this answers your queston :)
 

Clive197

Established Member
No, no mistake i was under the impression when the problem / advice reqiured had been received you closed a thread, if this different i'm sorry. I have now made my upgrade with pleasing results...

Hope this answers your queston :)

Having asked for advise, any chance of telling us what you did in the end?

Clive
 

kev0098

Established Member
Having asked for advise, any chance of telling us what you did in the end?

Clive

Clive,

Not a problem Clive, after lots of demos including Primare, Arcam fmj 32 and the newer 38 i plumped for a Naim system. I was very impressed with the naim cd player it seemed a lot more aticulate and have now purchased a pre and power amp.

Kevin
 

Dankeech

Prominent Member
Hi Clive,
Just to clarify things, the norm is to leave a thread open in case anyone wants to discuss the issue further. As the thread subject is specific to you, rather than being a general product question that applies to many others, I'll leave you the choice. I recommend you leave open, but you're welcome to have this thread closed. Choice is yours, just reply on-thread.

Dan.:)
 

Clive197

Established Member
Hi Clive,
Just to clarify things, the norm is to leave a thread open in case anyone wants to discuss the issue further. As the thread subject is specific to you, rather than being a general product question that applies to many others, I'll leave you the choice. I recommend you leave open, but you're welcome to have this thread closed. Choice is yours, just reply on-thread.

Dan.:)


Thanks for that Dan, but it wasn't me that asked for the thread to be closed, it was KEV0098 :oops:

Clive
 
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Dankeech

Prominent Member
Oops, lol:D

Dan.
 

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