Dilemma ! Cayin A-88T or QUAD Elite Pre + QSP

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Jamesbutler, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Jamesbutler

    Jamesbutler
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    Hello,

    I will apologize in advance as I am relatively new to the Audiophile world. I am young, got my first good paying job and I want to get my self a nice HiFi system. I have an old Sansui SR-222 Mk IV turntable so a big Vinyl collection (main source)

    I have been looking at the QUAD ELITE system.
    I would be getting the Quad Elite Pre-Amp and the Quad QSP Power Amp.
    I have auditioned this setup on Magnepan 1.7 speakers and it blew me away. I was sold, ready to hand over my cash. (In September as thats when I get paid)
    the system would cost around £2000

    BUT....

    I have a friend, who has a friend, who gets nice things from China and he has offered me a Cayin A-88T Tube Amp for £1000 new. Now this amp normally goes for twice that. I love the idea of a tube amp and have always drooled over the Jadis range.

    What to do people ?? Is it worth saving a £1000 and getting the integrated tube amp or going all out and getting the solid sate hi-detailed perfectionist ?

    FYI. I listen to all styles of Music, 70's Rock, Acoustic, Chill, Jazz, I also plan on buying the Magnepan 1.7 speakers to accompany the system as they made me wet.

    PS. I can't Audition the Cayin A-88T as they would be coming from China just for me, and finding a distributer in the UK is like finding a Nun in a brothel.
     
  2. robertseymour

    robertseymour
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    With regards to the Cayin, there are UK Dealers IIRC.
    If you do get an import, make sure its proper UK model with 240v rather than the more common 220v models that are sold, or 110v for the Japanese market for example.
    Also to note, if its imported from China, you are unlikely to get a proper warranty that is return to base rather than through a local dealer/distributor. Thats what you pay for I am afraid.

    Also with the Magnepan 1.7s, I really would demo with a specific valve amp before purchase. I had the smaller MMG model and found them to be largely the same with a variety of amplifiers (including the Quad Elite Stereo Power amp with Icon Audio LA3 Pre) although the biggest difference was with higher volumes and bass control.
    The Maggies really do need a powerful amplifier if you want to play loudly, they are relatively an easy impedance load (4 Ohm Resistive) but quite in-efficient, so as long as the amplifier is happy with a 4 Ohm load, or in the case of a Valve amp, has 4 Ohm Output Transformers you should be good.

    In that budget, you could get an awful lot of valve amp, like this Icon Audio for example:
    http://www.audioemotion.co.uk/icon-audio-stereo-40-mk-iiim-integrated-amplifier-740-p.asp

    You could also get a lot of SS amp for that too, I found the best amp with the MMGs was a Restek Challenger (200w/4 Ohms) which was VERY good with them. And only around £300 S/H.
    From previous experience, even something like the Denon PMA-2000AE could be worth a shout, or the current PMA-2020AE model.
    I have not heard a Quad 909 / QSP but heard/read nothing but good things about it, a 909 goes for around £500-£700 S/H if you wanted to bring the budget down a little.


    Also, how big is your room, and how loud do you want to play? Did you try the Maggies in your room, as they like a good amount of room behind them to sound their best although proximity to side walls is not a concern. The advantage of the Maggies is they are quite light so can be easily moved out into position when you want them, and put back against the wall when you dont.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  3. Jamesbutler

    Jamesbutler
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    Ummm... Alot to think about and more Audiophile porn to fill my browser cache. Thank you.

    My room is 500sqF. I do not listen to music loud, thats why I like the Maggies as even at a low volume they are so defined and clear. I have looked at the 909's but the QSP is a bit more refined.

    After much pondering, I am going to Audition the Quad system with the MG 1.7's again this afternoon along with a Jadis Valve Amp. (I know not really comparable but it just to get an idea of valve sound).

    Im not too fussed about the budget, I mainly want the the system to be reliable and last me many years. I am leaning more towards the QUAD as I have heard that Valve Systems do need upkeep and looking after and Im really not into tinkering with Bias and swapping valves out to change the sound.
     
  4. robertseymour

    robertseymour
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    The only maintenance you should need to do on any valve amp is change the tubes when they wear out.
    Changing valves to more esoteric ones is not essential, I use some that are £2 pop (Russian ex-mil spec ones) off ebay! A lot of amps are auto Bias as well these days.

    See how you get on in the audition :)

    The Audiolab 8200MBs should also be on your audition list too, for power amps!
     

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