AV upgrade - TAG v Meridian v Bryston v Arcam

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by kallenby, Mar 17, 2002.

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  1. kallenby

    kallenby
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    I'm going to upgrade my audio system for AV & have shortlisted :-

    AV Processor - TagMclaren AV32R(192)
    AV amplifiers - TagMclaren 250x3R, Meridian 558 5 channel & the Bryston 5 channel amp.
    CD/DVD - TagMclaren DVD32R, Meridian 596 DVD, Arcam FMJ27

    My current system is Audiolab 8000CDM/DAC/Q/4xM & Epos ES22's; interconnects / speaker cables are Red Dawn.

    Advice on the shortlisted kit is appreciated since my current 'choice' is the AV32R, FMJ27 & 250x3R amp (keeping 2 of my M's for the rear speakers. The only problem in Singapore is that i can't home demo any of it or demo it together.....

    Thanks,
     
  2. buns

    buns
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    Nice stereo set up! My opinion would be that sticking with all the tag mclaren stufff would be a good idea. The processor seems to be hard to beat as far as an upgradeable solution, i havent heard anyone complain about the dvd player and the power amp would match your audiolabs.....you could go looking for second hand audiolab power amps, but that far too much like alot of work!

    ad
     
  3. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    Just out of interest, how do the prices compare to those in the uk on the equipment shortlisted.?
     
  4. GaryG

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    Given that you have 4 M's, would it not be better to get a fifth M? I would be surprised if in a straight shoot out the 250R bested the M's, I'm not saying it's not a good amp but given the cost of changing, when it's all said and done you will not, sonically, be any further forward.
     
  5. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Gary: When we had the TAG equivalent of the M's we played them against two channels of the 5 X 100r. The 5 x 100R was superior in our opinion......and cheaper....

    Gordon
     
  6. GaryG

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    Thanks for that Gordon, I've just realised we're talking about M's and not MX's, in which case I can see the logic now. Ah well I'll go back to sleep now (I did get up early to watch the F1!!!).:rolleyes:
     
  7. kallenby

    kallenby
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    hi guys,

    i've actually got 2 mx and 2m monoblocs - i intend to keep the 2 mx's with a 250x3r.

    what about av processor & dvd/cd player - audiophile standard ???

    cheers,
     
  8. kallenby

    kallenby
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    THX,

    costs of Tag stuff here are cheaper than the uk - audiolab was 50% cheaper but Tag is about 25% cheaper.

    a DVD32R costs about 3K sterling (S$8000) & the new AV32(192) costs S$6000 - about 2300 sterling

    the 100x5R costs S5500 - about 2100 sterling
     
  9. GaryG

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    kallenby

    Our resident Tag man Nic Rhodes who has a fine pair of ears will be able to give you more information but here's a thread from a while back that may be of interest. I can't find the thread I'm looking for but Nic has an absolute top notch CD transport and in that thread I asked his opinion of the Tag transport in comparison to his Hi Fi one and it was a close run thing.

    www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=21729&highlight=transport
     
  10. alanrob

    alanrob
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    Got to agree about the DVD32r - It's a very good CD player as well as one of the finest DVD players I've seen. Ain't I glad I've got one :D

    The Av32r is a nobrainer - you just have to get one :)
    The support that Tag give all their products put them well ahead of the other brands. If you had bought an Av32r in 1999 it would still be able to get upgraded to the latest spec. How many companies can you say do that?

    The amp side is more down to personal choice. I took the Tag route just to keep all the kit the same, but I have to say that the Bryston was tempting as it is one powerful beast :)
     
  11. Matt F

    Matt F
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    You might also want to consider the new Tag DVD32FLR - basically a front loading version of the DVD32R - almost as good (so they say) but £1,000 cheaper!

    As for the power amp - I can't help thinking that the Bryston is the ultimate choice, especially if you listen to a lot of music. I know that if money was no object, that's what would be sitting under my AV32R!

    Matt.
     
  12. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I'll pen something tomorrow for you. Have got time now I'm afraid.:)
     
  13. alanrob

    alanrob
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    Sorry to say, but most people seem to say that the front loader isn't as good a CD player as the top loader.
     
  14. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Right

    There is some quality kit being talked about here. None are bad performers and most is pretty much the best of the best.

    I am a Tag owner but it was bought having gone through a similar process. I have seen most of the kit again since.

    The AV32R is just class and it just keeps on getting better. Then we will have the AV192R upgrade. Cool. No brainer here.

    The Meridian amp is big and muscular. Ultimately I preferred the precision of the treble and bass on the little Tag 100x5r or the midrange of the Bryston. Both the Bryston and Tag are quality. Different in style but similar in quality IMO. Some will prefer one, other the other. The 100x5r is better than all other Tag and Audiolab kit (yes all those mono blocks except the new 250r). The new 250R, I have little experience of, though everyone says it is MUCH better, particularly in the midrange. Reviews on Tag web site. I’ve heard Classe and Bonnec sound good with this kit as well. I would look to the 250r as the one to beat.

    DVD32R is a gem of a player. Perhaps my favorite bit of AV kit of all time. It has the best sound I have heard from any DVD and VERY few CDs can hold a candle to this player if you want it to do music as well. I can only name two CD players that I think are better (£10k+), there are one or two CD with similar performance (similar £4k price). We are talking serious kit here, there isn’t much better. It has the best interlaced video performance I have seen (Theta Davis2 is the closest), the rest are a long way behind IMO.

    If you are after the best picture currently available then the progressive scan Arcam FMJ would be the one to go for, though the audio performance is the equivalent to a £600 CD. The new PS Tag board is likely to change that, though it is only just hitting the market now so is too early for me to comment. What I saw at the show was VERY impressive and have little doubt it will be the one to beat. It will also de interlace other sources as well. Cool. I separate out picture quality from de-interlacing artifacts, I hope this makes sense. Tag has the best video performance and now the top notch de-interlacing (same chip as Arcam) Most projects (panel) de-interlace poorly but scale quite well. CRTs well that depends.

    If you are after a later AV192R then this is the way to go as the PS upgrade module for the DVD can be moved to the AV192R to do the interlacing. If you need additional scaling or a high end video processor, these can also be add by Tag to the AV192R when available.

    There are two Tag DVD players now. The top loading DVD32R which I have and the front loading FLR. Both use identical electronics. The top loader gives a better drive and isolation, the FLR is cheaper. If your interest is primarily DVD there will be very little in it. The difference will increase if you also use it to play CDs however. Both are upgradeable. Top loading drives are the best way to go performance wise but cost much more to produce. I have top loading DVD and CD players now not because I like top loaders but they just sounded better on demo. Simple as that. Region hack on Tag is simple.

    I was non too impressed with the old Meridian DVD (Tosh clone). I am told the new one is better but have no experience of it however. Graham from the Tag web site has both (BBC Technical dept). He is non to complimentary about it having fixed the draw 5 times at the last count.

    Don’t underestimate how good the Tagtronic bus is and the easy software upgrades. Processors and amps can be hidden if wanted. It looks so damn cool, I don’t want to but that me.

    Processor: dome deal
    Amp: Some choices
    DVD: The options, pros and cons
     
  15. kallenby

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    thanks for all your replies guys - most informative.

    however, just to throw a spanner - i heard a demo of an amp yesterday that blew my mind - it was so damn real.

    it's the Tact Millenium II from Denmark.

    digital amp - no analogue output; just pulses.

    the sound was amazing...

    any feedback from you on this kit ? i'm seriously considering cos it was so damn good.....

    K.
     
  16. kallenby

    kallenby
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    ps - i'm considering the following now (time to break the bank i think !!!) :-


    AV32R(192)
    Tact Millenium DAC/Preamp/Amp
    & keep my monoblocs for the AV speakers.
    DVD32R CD/DVD transport

    reckon i could be in trouble with the wife............
     
  17. Lowrider

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    There is a very "hot" post about the Tact in the Tag forum, go and read it...

    I have:

    AV32R EX, a no brainer choice,

    FMJ DV27, the TAG wouldn´t fit my rack nor my budget, otherwise I think the Tag-link makes it unbeatable,

    Bryston 4BST, its great, but I have never heard the TAG or the Meridien, have you considered the 5BST, 3x250 ?
     
  18. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    And, of course, the new Arcam AV8 and P7 are due out in June:
    AV8 Flier
    P7 Flier.

    Cheers,
    Liam
     
  19. AV Geeza

    AV Geeza
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    I would go for TAG AV32R & DVD32R with the Bryston 9B THX.
    I have the AV32R & Bryston myself and its wonderful! :eek:
    Im holding fire on the DVD player until I see the new Denon.
     
  20. Guest

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    IMHO you really should audition the following:

    Meridian 568 (often ignored in this forum because HCC have never reviewed it)

    Classe CAV75 or CAV150 operating in three channel bridged mode

    Classe DVD which I believe to be at least the equal of the TAG but at a considerably lower cost.

    Obviously none of this has to my knowledge been reviewed by HCC but get a demo and trust your ears!!
     

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