Arcam FMJ A19 and Rega RS3 for classical music

Sbaragnaus

Standard Member
Hi,

I have recently gone through an audition marathon to get my first real HiFi system in place. My initial budget was revised several times, because I have been surprised by how much difference I could tell. It's now at £1500 for speakers, amp and cables. I really mostly listen to classical music, orchestral and chamber, some jazz and some blues or rock from my teenage years. I really liked the Rega RS3, but found them too bright at times with the Brio-R amp. I auditioned several other speakers and the only ones I liked more than the RS3 were off budget. Also, my room is not very large (20 sq m) but I really like how floorstanders sound - I am looking for an open sound, three-dimensional, precise and detailed but not clinical (monitor-like), warmer rather than bright but without too much base.
I have auditioned other amplifiers as well and found that Creek 50A and Arcam A19 work well with the RS3s - my current preference is for the Arcam/Rega pair. Compared to the Brio, I thought that the Arcam had similar levels of detail and a perhaps even better soundstage, but was more precise than happy/exciting. On the other hand, it wasn't bright either. The Creek was warmer and smoother but had less detail as well IMO.
I would like to ask what are people's thoughts: do you think that in the long run, when I will be more discerning, I will miss excitement in my music? Perhaps I should save some cash and wait? I liked the Tannoy DC6 for instance, but a lot less than the Rega.

Thanks a lot in advance!
 

larkone

Member
The Regas' will settle down with running in. Am on my second set of rega speakers, moved from Juras to RS7 and though I have heard a lot of other speakers I still haven't found anything for the price to warrant changing out the RS7s. My son is very happily using my old Juras and loves them.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
... My initial budget was revised several times, because I have been surprised by how much difference I could tell. It's now at £1500 for speakers, amp and cables. I really mostly listen to classical music, orchestral and chamber, some jazz and some blues or rock from my teenage years. I really liked the Rega RS3, but found them too bright at times with the Brio-R amp. I auditioned several other speakers and the only ones I liked more than the RS3 were off budget. ...

I would like to ask what are people's thoughts: do you think that in the long run, when I will be more discerning, I will miss excitement in my music? Perhaps I should save some cash and wait? I liked the Tannoy DC6 for instance, but a lot less than the Rega.
You will indeed wish to upgrade in the future. The trick is to be patient rather than addicted. Each real upgrade will cost a packet (with speaker upgrades yielding the most), so if you can learn to accept what you have until you can afford what you want, you'll be in a good position.

I started off with small pre-owned Pioneers, then upgraded to new KEF 104aB's that happened to be on special offer when I left home. I kept the KEFs as the main system for 12 years as the main speakers, and in fact still have them in the office. They were replaced by the Quad ESL-63's I really wanted, after having scraped together enough cash to purchase them (by then we had 3 children). I kept the Quads for 18 years, before getting the current ML Spires. I exercised significant patience, but it also meant I had the speakers and sound I wanted by the age of 34. Had I updated in stages, it would have taken a lot longer to achieve the audio nirvana.

I suggest you purchase the setup you like <and which is within your budget. Sit back and enjoy it, rather than worrying that you might have been able to improve it. By all means set (long-term) goals, but be patient about achieving them.
 

Sbaragnaus

Standard Member
The Regas' will settle down with running in. Am on my second set of rega speakers, moved from Juras to RS7 and though I have heard a lot of other speakers I still haven't found anything for the price to warrant changing out the RS7s. My son is very happily using my old Juras and loves them.
Thanks a lot for your replies. Quick clarification: would you suggest that they will settle in with the Brio-R as well? The shop assistant agreed that they sounded bright together at times (source was an Apollo CD player, I'd be using a DAC from a PC), even though both speakers and amp had been used for demos for a long time.

Thanks again

PS: Forgot to add, the Arcam has a nice headphone amp that is worth the extra money for me :)
 
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larkone

Member
Why don't you ask your dealer for a home trial, speakers are affected by the room they are in more than anything else. I have used several Arcam amps with my Regas and they are a good match in my room.

some others views on the Rs3
Impressions of Rega RS3 | whathifi.com
 

Sbaragnaus

Standard Member
Yes, I have asked for help on that forum too :)

Thanks a lot for your suggestion, I will try to arrange a home demo if possible. I agree that it easy to get carried away by trying to find the optimal setup, so I will take a step back and focus on enjoying my music.
 

Sbaragnaus

Standard Member
I managed to organize the home demo, and I was very happily surprised. No brightness at all in my living room. I have to add that the cables were different - not sure how much of a difference they make though. Really happy with how it went, swapped it all for my new set in less than a week.
There's definitely no worries of not being engaging enough. Everything flows easily, naturally and controlled, but the detail is amazing and the dynamics are excellent for me, even at low volume. Also, I am happy I went for floorstanders: they may not be the punchiest, but with good recordings (like Karajan/Wiener/Decca) the low end adds so much refined/controlled depth compared to my old Monitor Audio BX2.
I am not sure how much this is due to the amp, but I love how the Arcam works with the RS3.

Thanks a lot for your suggestions!
 

Steve Stifler

Well-known Member
I managed to organize the home demo, and I was very happily surprised. No brightness at all in my living room. I have to add that the cables were different - not sure how much of a difference they make though. Really happy with how it went, swapped it all for my new set in less than a week.
There's definitely no worries of not being engaging enough. Everything flows easily, naturally and controlled, but the detail is amazing and the dynamics are excellent for me, even at low volume. Also, I am happy I went for floorstanders: they may not be the punchiest, but with good recordings (like Karajan/Wiener/Decca) the low end adds so much refined/controlled depth compared to my old Monitor Audio BX2.
I am not sure how much this is due to the amp, but I love how the Arcam works with the RS3.

Thanks a lot for your suggestions!
Just out of interest, what speaker cable are you using at home?
 

Sbaragnaus

Standard Member
I am using the Chord Company's Sarsen cable. I don't know much about cables, so I just followed the store's suggestion. Four metres each to be precise :)
 

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