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CD Player + Amp to Partner KEF Q1's

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by T-Bone, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. T-Bone

    T-Bone
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    Need some recommendations here guys, at the moment I am running;

    -Kef Q1's
    -Toshiba 220E DVD Player
    -Yamaha DSP-AX-620

    I used to be running a older Arcam cd player (Delta 270 I think) which was a fantasic player, but I was having laser problems. It stopped reading discs properly and would not play when attempting to skip tracks.

    So I am looking for a budget (£400 mark for both) cd player and amplifier. I have a very varied taste in music, so it is improtant the kit will perform well on all types of music. However I predominantly listen to percussion and guitar heavy music - rage against the machine, chemical brothers and prodigy, so I want the setup to excel with this sort of music It is important that it delivers quite a driving punchy sound therefore.

    I have been doing some research for what setups to audition, so far I have two possible setups, but I was curious to see if anyone would make any changes or recommend other products etc?

    1)
    Amp - NAD C320 BEE £180 (Richer sounds)
    Cd - NAD C521 BEE £170 (Richer Sounds)

    2)

    Amp - Cambridge AZUR 540A £200 (RS)
    CD - Cambridge AZUR 540C £200 (RS)

    I have also purchased a new budget sound card - the M-audio delta 2496 based on the recommendations on this site

    Any thoughts? :D

    T-Bone
     
  2. roversd1

    roversd1
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    look out for the new Audiolab range of amps that will bring back some old favourites. These beat the arse of the Cambridge Audio amplification in listening tests.
     
  3. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Hi.
    After listening to the Q3 in comparison to Klipsch, BW, Infinity and others, I found them quite dark sounding, so if it is true that NAD is rather dark (never heard it myself), I would expect a bad result.
    The Cambridge are quite neutral, so it would match better.
    I have no idea about Audiolab, sorry.
    Regards,

    Alberto
     
  4. SKA.face

    SKA.face
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    Even though the original Audiolabs are far better than the amps on your list,some major corners will need to be cut to get them down to that price level when the new kit appears.On the meantime,try rotel kit.
     
  5. superpixel

    superpixel
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    this is what i would recommend to suit your musical taste perfectly:

    Sony CDPXE370 (£80) - I run this as my MAIN player through £2000 worth of amplifer and £1500 worth of speakers. The only players that have come close were a Rega Jupiter, Arcam 9, and Naim...but I preferred the ergonomics and money savings of the Sony!

    Sony TAFB940R (£270) - Sony's budget amps are excellent, the bypassable tone controls will most likely come in very handy...

    But the biggest favour you could do yourself is try and swap those Kefs for some B&W DM601s...nothing does electric guitar like those B&Ws!

    I guarantee the Sony/B&W setup will get you jigging...a Cambridge Audio/Kef may well suck all the life out of your discs...

    Up to you anyway - i would avoid Cambridge Audio like the plague...dynamic and bassy they aren't.
     
  6. T-Bone

    T-Bone
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    Some interesting replies guys - my budget is not strictly limited to £400, but its a case of being responsible with how much I spend as I am going to university in september.

    Before I dig deeper into a few of those replies - another question for anyone!
    I have an old Arcam Delta 270 CD player which originally cost £850 (Dads old player before he got his Linn Ikemi). It is a fantastic player but unfortunately I have recently been experiencing playback problems - i.e. when skipping tracks the cd stops playing and returns to the length of album display. I am considering getting this sorted pending the economics of the repair - from my logic this player is going to deliver far more than a £200 mark entry level player, and will free up more paper stuff to invest on the amplification.

    Think this is a good idea? Obviously if a repair is unvailable or uneconomical then I wont bother but I think it is definitely worth a try.
     
  7. deanym

    deanym
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    If you're not averse to purchasing second hand, then look on ebay at the musical fidelity gear up for auction. You can pick up some absolutely stunning kit for not much more than the budget kit you're originally looking at....................
     
  8. benji_m

    benji_m
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    Yup, a nice XA2 would do nicely, look pretty and drive those KEF's very well. Agreed those Sony budget CD's are very good.
     
  9. andyAV

    andyAV
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    Another alternative is to spend all the money on a decent amp with an inbuilt decent(ish) DAC (probably need to be a surround sound processor style amp) and use the tosh as a transport. For budget players there really isn't much difference (my tosh 220 thru my older amp Pio D2011 was almost as good as my Arcam 7 CDP which is in turn very similar to the Arcam CD73). When you have more money you could then upgrade to a dedicated CDP or a dedicated DAC and not have old redundant kit lying around.

    Try it and see - demo some £400 amps and their DACs in your budget against £200 CDPs with £200 Amps.

    Andy
     
  10. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    T-bone - you could try cleaning the laser on your Delta 270 using a CD cleaning disc (most dealers stock these). If that doesn't work we can check it over for you but I am sorry to say we can no longer obtain the lasers for the Philips CDM 1 drive used in the 270, and that's the most likely problem. Lasers do eventually fail and your unit is around 10 years old. If that's the case then unless your local service people can get one (sometimes used CD drives or lasers come up) or you can get one from say e-bay and cannibalise the drive you are probably stuck there.

    Andy AV - the circuitry and DACs used in the Alpha 7 CDP are not the same as in the current CD73; the latter is quite a bit better sounding IMO.

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     

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