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Advice for my 1st Hi-Fi Separates System

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by jonesmark, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. jonesmark

    jonesmark
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    I'm new to the world of Hi-Fi Separates and am trying to put together my 1st system. I want to get an amp, CD-player and speakers. My budget is around the £500/ £600 mark.

    I popped into Richer Sounds today and was given the following advice:
    - CD player: Cambridge Audio Azur 540C, £200 (5 stars in What Hi-Fi)
    - Amp: Cambridge Audio Azur 540A, £200 (5 stars in What Hi-Fi)
    - Speakers: bookshelf Mordaunt Short Avant 902 £120 (3 stars in What Hi-Fi)

    I'm happy with the CD and Amp but not the speakers because of the What Hi-Fi rating (I've also checked reviews on the internet). What Hi-Fi rave on about the Wharfdale Diamond 9.1 booshelf speakers and they're £180. Richer Sounds don't do these however.

    So I'm thinking of going for the Cambridge CD and Amp and the Wharfdale speakers. Any thoughts or advice ?

    Note that the system will go in a fairly small room (either 2nd bedroom or living room) and I generally listen to noisy music (rock, metal etc).

    Thanks for any help/ advice you can give.
     
  2. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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  3. jon_mendel

    jon_mendel
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    As suggested in the link londondecca's posted, you could also get quite a lot more for your money if you're happy to buy secondhand - amplifiers and speakers especially are generally a relatively safe secondhand buy (obviously assuming you check they're working before you pay). If you want the comfort of a guarantee, shops often do a 3 month or so guarantee on secondhand stuff (richer sounds do this)

    To second his advice, nothing wrong with the separates you mention, but it'd be a very good idea to demo it along with a couple of alternatives - it may have been well-reviewed (though different reviewers have different opinions) but that doesn't mean you'll like it ;) You should also know that Richer Sounds own the Cambridge Audio brand (and I think they've got something to do with Mordaunt Short) which may effect what they recommend; this doesn't mean that you should avoid their stuff (I'm listening to a cambridge a500 amp as I write, and really like it :) ) but it may be worth bearing in mind when shopping. Also, if you're looking at the azur amp it might be worth considering the 640c - slightly more powerful, and some seem to think it has a better sound, though it is £50 more.

    Jon
     
  4. rozzar

    rozzar
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    yes i'd also say look at the zerogain thread...but do question your judgement on
    A) What hifis opinions- everyone has different ears so what right have they got to dismiss alternatives on your behalf? Imo, the MS speakers sh** all over the Wharfedales and the Avant 902s are the best standmount speakers available sub £200 brand new BAR none. £200 and above is Epos ELS3 territory incidentally.
     
  5. jonesmark

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    Ok, thanks for all your advice.
    I think I will buy what Richer Sounds have suggested (i.e. Cam 540C, Cam 540A, MS902) and listen to them at home to see what my ears and apartment say about them.

    I'll also pop into my local Sevenoakes store to listen to some other setups.

    Any other advice is most welcome.

    Cheers,

    jm.
     
  6. Zildjian285

    Zildjian285
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    I'd go for a pair of Monitor Audio S1's, heard many good things about them and they are quite cheap now.
     
  7. OneDesi

    OneDesi
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    Can wholeheartedly recommend these as they were £300 new and can be bought from Sevenoaks for around £150ish - amazing speakers!

    Have you considered the musical fideliy x-80 amp which can be had for around £250 new (have a look at weymouth hifi) - once again different class to all eles as was originally £600.

    As for CD player why dont you look at the Rotel RCD-02 (cambridge might be as good - Ive never heard the cambridge). Could even pick up asecond had Roksan Kandy or something.

    From what I read and see I wouldn't buy the cambridge stuff as build quality appears to be suspect but the spekaers and amp I have recommended will last you for years if not ever and is seriously better sounding than the cambridge rig (ALL IMHO :thumbsup: )

    Best of luck
     
  8. Mundu

    Mundu
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    I've got the CA 540A and Wharfedale 9.1s (Purely from what HiFis review, before I knew much about seperates) although a lot of people say CA is rubbish ect and Wharfedales are rubbish they sound really good to me although this was my first setup. The sound very detailed and on more than a few occasions I mistake parts of music for some thing real going on downstairs or next to me.

    Also look on the forums for second hand stuff as I got my amp for half it's reatail (£100) which I thought was a a bargain.
     

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