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Changing from 5.1 to stereo setup. Help needed.

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by dAvE6, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. dAvE6

    dAvE6
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    I've just returned my denon 3802 because i wasn't satisfied with the musicality and i have no space for a 5.1 setup anymore. So i thought i'll just use my front B&W 603 s3 speakers in a stereo setup.

    I need an integrated amplifier and a CD player.

    I've demoed the NAD C370 which seems pretty good, and a NAD CD player(not sure which one £350). I've also tried a musical fidelity A3.2 integrated amp which seems very very slightly better, and the matching CD player which sounds slightly less harsh and smoother. But no big improvement, and they are twice the price!
    I've also been pointed towards a marantz CD player for around £500.

    So...Does anyone have any reccomendations for the integrated amp and a CD player, both around £500 each??

    On forst impressions, i thinking about the NAD amp and probably a decent marantz CD player.

    My main requirments are WARMTH, control and detail. Is it really worth spending much more on something other than the NAD C370? And is the NAD *SIGNIFICANTLY* more impressive at stereo performance than the denon 3802? It seemed nice in the store, but its not untill i get the nad in my room that i will hear the true difference.


    Thanks a lot.
     
  2. MikeK

    MikeK
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    As well as NAD, have a listen to Arcam and Creek products at the price points (DIVA CD62/A65, and CD43/4330).
    In my (admittedly limited compared to some) experience, they may well offer the type of sound you are after.
    Not too sure about Marantz personally.
    Your speakers aren't really known for a warm character - I'm a bit surprised you went for them, considering your requirements, so if you want that type of sound, it's going to have to be the components which deliver it.

    Sadly, neither product range is readily available from discount type stores (though Richers do some Arcam ), so massive discounts are probably out. However, if you want something very specific in terms of sound, then IMO, it's worth paying extra to get it if you have to.

    That said, you may not necessarily have to pay as much as you might think. Richer Sounds were doing the older Arcam Alpha series on special recently - still shown on the website, but you can't order from there. The 7SE/7R would only set you back around £400,- if they still have any - and may well suit you.
    They list quite a few others too.
     
  3. gringottsdirect

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    I'm going to whisper this.....it's your speakers.
    Everyone hears differently but although I like B & W for build quality and technical innovation, I don't thrill to their sound.
    They go loud, they are clear and accurate.
    My ears tried an Arcam Alpha 8R/Arcam 7SE combo with B & W 602S2, playing:
    Ashes To Ashes..........David Bowie
    Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding..........Elton John
    Positively 4th Street...........Bob Dylan
    I then tried the same tracks with Mission 774 speakers, amazingly the speed of transients, imaging and life "out of the box", was stunningly more to my liking, they were more involving.
    Admittedly the 602S2s were able to play louder, with more bass, but in comparison they were flat and boring.
    Yes, I was helping a friend, yes it was RS and yes she loved the Arcam/Mission combo enough to order them.
    Why not try some speaker alternatives, you may even retrieve your Denon AVR-3802.
    If you do prefer your B & Ws thats fine.
     
  4. dAvE6

    dAvE6
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    But you see i have the series 3 speakers. They are a big improvement over the muddled series 2. They are so much faster, more open, more detailed and more energetic. Certainly a lot more suited to music than mission. Besides, i'm certain that i want a stereo setup rather than a 5.1 now. Today i will demo the NAD which i intend to buy with other speakers to see if there really is much of a difference.
     
  5. Nobber22

    Nobber22
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    See if your dealer does Rotel - the new RA1060 amp is a beaut & the matching 1070 (?) cd player comes highly regarded too. Cyrus 5 is a class little amp too and can be upgraded to 7 status in the future too. Or how about one from left field: get a Linn Klassic (I love mine) and you can add an LK85 power amp later if you wish as well. Klassic has a warm, but pacy sound which will suit your 602's big time.
     
  6. ads1

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    Dave

    The Arcam combination will give you the warmth and detail you are looking for. If its still within your budget I would demo the CD72/A75+ combo as well.

    I'm surprised that the Music Fidelity system was only slightly better than the NAD. In my experience the MF punshes its price/performance weight and works well with the B&W CDM NT series.

    As an alternative, what make of DVD player do you have? Most of the named brands have decent transports, and the addition of a decent DAC can give very impressive results for 2 channel stereo. You could see if TAG are still selling the reconditioned DAC20's for £350 (I think). I think there was a thread on this some time back.

    Andy
     
  7. MikeK

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    Warmth, control - fast and energetic?

    Sounds like a small contradiction to me.
    Not having a go at B&W 600 speakers, but generally both of the above statements about speakers won't be true - it'll sway one way or the other.
    It's often a compromise of priorities with speakers - no one model will be best at everything - it depends what type of music the listener prefers, what his personal taste is, how his ears respond etc etc. If warmth is your main priority, then choose speakers which have a warm character - the B&Ws haven't. Doesn't make them bad, just not ideal for you, at least IMO.

    While components certainly play their part in it, nothing has as much effect on the overall tonal character of the system you end up with, as the speakers (and the room they are used in).

    I won't get drawn into a Mission vs B&W debate - each will have their supporters. I prefer to take each as it comes - but it's no secret that, good as they are, I feel B&W 600 series are a bit expensive for what you get, when you look around at street price alternatives. You may get the 603s for a few pounds less than MSRP of £600, but the 774s are/were available for £230, and that IMO, is the key difference (especially as the Missions come with a real wood veneer). For all their support, I just don't feel the B&Ws can justify a 2-3 fold price differential over some of their competitors. It's OK the magazines talking about comparing equivalent MSRP prices, but the fact is that many of the models they test are available for far less than they are quoting - if they reviewed on street prices, I think the B&W 600 series would find itself up against higher class competitors than they are usually lumped in with.
    That in itself though, dosn't nake them bad speakers as such IMO, just not very good value, again IMO.
     
  8. philmate

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    The Nad C370 is a fine amp, It has plenty of power and finesse. I really enjoy my music through it. If you require more power and control you can add a power amp at a later date, C270 I think. I auditioned several speakers, between £4/900 but felt something was missing. Some had no real bass extension, some nasally, (depended on volume I seem to remember) some tiresome. Unless you spend lots i think speakers make the biggest difference on a system.I like transmission speakers, I love the bass. I purchased a self build TL kit from www.iplacoustics.co.uk, the smallest, though I wish I went for the next ones up, more bass weight. Well, I love the sound, volume is not an issue low or high, the'll kill you or your amp before they give up. Nothing sounds nasty, nasally, no lack of bass, good dynamics, natural voices, they won't hurt your ears after long periods of listening. Anyway I'm also after a CD player so I 'll have fun finding one. I'm only using the analouge outputs from a Wharfedale 750, would I notice a big differnce from a good source, probably. For the money the Nads excellent.
     
  9. dAvE6

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    Well guys...

    I bought a NAD C370 and a marantz C6000 CD player, and i couldn't be happier with the performance. What a giant killer! Such value for money. Stereo performance is leaaagues above that of the 3802. Decoding from TV/games etc is just as good as the 3802 but with more gusto to it. The only thing i'm missing out on is surround sound from movies, but considering they are my lowest priority after music-games-TV, it's no big loss. I also get some money back from selling my spare speakers AND have a far less cluttered room. I guess i just overestimated the potential of A/V amps in doing music and giving TV/games proper justice. So it shows i WAS right about the musical ability of the 3802. Flat. Boring. lack of much dynamic and very little thrust. Just my opinion mind...

    The 603 speakers have simply come alive. The combination of a punchy and dynamic amp with a warm/detailed CD player and neutral speakers has worked a treat. I demo'd the missions to put my mind at rest, and i felt the mid-range was a bit grainy. Maybe more suited to home-theatre. B&W are one of the few manufacturars who make speakers more weighted towards hi-fi than home theatre. And i really do think they are warm. Most people i've spoke to also think so. In this months 'hi fi choice', the B&W were the most reccomended by a fair margin in sound quality while still offering the best price. Nick, have you actually listened to the series 3 versions? The really are a league ahead of the series 2. I fully admit those were a bit boring and lacking in detail.
     
  10. gringottsdirect

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    This combo is purely for music.
    Arcam Alpha 8R @£229.95
    Arcam 7SE CD @£249.95
    Mission 774 @£229.95 pair
    Total cost £709.85 plus interconnects and speaker cable.

    Dave is happy with his system, if anyone is interested after reading this thread, why not try out all the items mentioned.:cool:
     
  11. dAvE6

    dAvE6
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    It's great that such a nice sound can be achieved by spending so little. erm, i don't quite know if the last comment in your post is a sarcastic jab at me or what.
     
  12. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    :blush: No, I'm sorry if it appeared to be.
     

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