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Question Downsizing HiFi

Nick_H

Active Member
Hello all !

I need to downsize my HiFI.

Currently have separates that ive owned for 30 years.

Ariston Q Deck ( this will probably go to save space it also appears that the weight adjuster on the arm is broken ) Kenwood KX 880 tape deck ( not used in years ), Technics ST-G570L FM Tuner ( may keep ), TECHNICS SL-P555 CD Player ( intend to keep ) and Technics SU-V450 Amp ( may keep ).

The speakers are Kef floor standers that will have to go one way or another.

The room size is 2.6m x 1.9m !

I will have a desk pretty much the whole width of the room facing the window that will have to support 2 hopefully 3 24" monitors as well as the speakers.

Budget for Speaker will be a max of £500 but it looks like they are going to have to sit on the desk so size is paramount specifically the width.

I'm hoping to keep my old amp as it's an old friend but if it's going to sound rubbish then I i'm prepared to go down the amp route with a budget of £300. Would it be advisable to buy an amp with a receiver or £300 on the amp and receiver later ?

So suggestions and advice please. Is it even possible to have a nice sounding setup in such a small room which will also have cupboards along the top left hand side and the back.

2nd hand is an option but would prefer to purchase new as I dont want to travel far as I would want to audition the kit.

I've discounted active speakers as I really want to go down the classic amp / speakers route.

No amps shortlisted as of yet.

Speaker shortlist. Height and depth are not critical it's the width that's the important factor and these speakers are pretty narrow.

NeaIotas - 130 x 200 x 165mm
Monitor Audio SILVER 50 - 165 x 269 x 270
KEF Q350 - 210 x 306 x 358

Cheers
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Your amp is a blast from my past. If it's working well then just consider upgrading the speakers and concentrate your budget on them. For a small room the 50 watts into 8 ohms should be plenty. I wouldn't like to comment on how good it will sound with the speakers you've mentioned as mine was hooked up to Wharfedale Diamonds, not the worlds greatest speaker. It did sound better with Mission M73i. Never got the opportunity to try it with a decent pair of speakers though.

The KEF Q350s are getting excellent reviews but they are a big unit and like all KEFs they do thrive on power but could manage a good upgrade if amp quality which I don't think you would find for a budget of £300. A Rega Brio would be my choice with the Q350s.

The MAs are smaller in size and, again, are a very good speaker and perhaps not as hard to drive as the KEFs even though they both have a sensitivity of 87dB. In your room you could get away with a Marantz pm6006 even though it is just 45 watts into 8 ohms.

The Q350s are very closely based on the outgoing R100 speakers and these smaller speakers can pack a real punch and may be far better for your limited space. Rear ported they perform very well close to a wall, KEF supply bungs for full or half porting. I've used them as fronts on a 5.1 system and they are now providing sterling service as surrounds. Very musical.

Richer Sounds sell both and I strongly recommend you take the Technics with you to hook up to them for an audition.

KEF R100 Bookshelf Speakers
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
I'd consider ditching the lot for a USB DAC & powered/active speakers. Use Internet radio in place of the tuner & the PC's drive for CD.
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
I would go for speakers first, see how that goes and if good, stay with the amp. If not then look at another amp.

That is a pretty small room. Will you be wanting to add streaming from the internet either now or in the future? If so and if looking for a new amp then maybe an all in one will suffice

you mention you want to keep the cd player so maybe something like a marantz mcr511 can do the job

Marantz McR511 Blk

Can connect the cd player to it by optical connection and the TT but will need an external phono stage for the TT if it does not have one inbuilt

Or an mcr611 or other alike brands which has a Dab/FM tuner but again will need an external phono stage for the TT if it does not have one inbuilt.


Without hearing them i cannot comment on your listed speakers, but do know the brands so IMO i expect to be good. It depends on which one you like the sound from with your amp
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
I used B&W CDM1SE speakers as desk top speakers in the past and they worked very well. There are three versions, the original CDM1, the updated CDM1SE with an upgraded tweeter and the CDM1NT with the nautilus tweeter, all have 6.5cm Kevlar woofers. The CDM1SE were £900 when new and the NT a bit more so are pretty good quality speakers and usually come in cherry, mahogany and black wood finish. I ran mine with bridged Rotel power amps and they sounded very good. These come up fairly regularly on various sites for £200-300. With all speakers if you can raise them a bit above the desk preferably with isolating pads this will help reduced both resonance in the table top and also reflections off the desk.

Example - B&W CDM 1NT Bookshelf Speakers (Pair) | eBay

Here's my old setup -

34664654550_7b91a0f805.jpg
 
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Nick_H

Active Member
Thanks guys i'll digest this later at home.

RBZ5416 ... Why ? Last time I used internet radio the bit rate was very low. Sounded like an old analogue phone ! Probably not keep the tuner but would ultimately plan on a DAB solution either via a receiver or receiver / amp combo.

What active speakers would you recommend for my budget ?

Would the cd drive on the PC using a decent quality soundcard give me better sound than using my old Technics player ?

I would be using the pc in some form or another as I have a couple of thousand ALAC files stored on it.

I've used the PC with my old Technics amp in the past but its a simple 3.5 mil jack to Phono.

Would there be a better reasonably priced solution for storing and playing back digital files ?

Would it involve a new amp ?

Sorry bit disjointed and have many questions !!

Edited to add !! Also use Amazon Music ...
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Life is so much simpler with a good CD player and amp. Sometimes it's good to be an old fart.:smashin:
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Why what?

With regard to Internet radio, I don't know what you were listening to but bit rates are generally decent & way better than DAB, which often has the added insult of glorious mono.
What active speakers would you recommend for my budget ?
Not my speciality I'm afraid but there are many here that will hopefully chip in.

The Active Speakers spot
Would the cd drive on the PC using a decent quality soundcard give me better sound than using my old Technics player?
Better - possibly not. As good - that will depend on the chosen DAC but no reason why not.
Would there be a better reasonably priced solution for storing and playing back digital files?
Why would you want to double up on what the PC can do? Maybe consider something like JRiver to ensure bit perfect playback & a nice interface.
Would it involve a new amp?
Not if you buy active speakers. ;)

This is all based on your stated intention to downsize & have everything on the desk in a tiny room.
 

deantown

Distinguished Member
Life is so much simpler with a good CD player and amp. Sometimes it's good to be an old fart.:smashin:

That's what I have (and a bloody good sound it is too) so I guess I must be an old fart. I am not short of a bob or two, but I do get a Kick out of buying CD's in Charity shops, I've found some cracking bargains.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
So ... are Active Speakers completely out of the question?

For a computer system, I would be inclined to consider the Mackie Big Knob Studio, which is a bi-directional USB Interface with limited Mixing ability, two independently controlled Headphone Amps, the ability to drive two sets of Monitors or one set of Monitors and Something Else, and it has a handy Master Volume Control.

Mackie Big Knob Studio USB Interface - £175 -

Mackie Big Knob Studio Monitor Interface at Gear4music

That could be used to drive some Active/Studio Monitors which, depending on how big you need them to be, could be in the range of £300/pr to £400/pr.

Mackie Studio Monitors MR-Series - (5", 6.5", 8") - Studiospares

Adam T7V (7") Nearfield Monitor x1

JBL 305P MKII (5") Studio Monitor at Gear4music

JBL 306P MKII (6.5") Studio Monitor at Gear4music

JBL 308P MKII (8") Studio Monitor at Gear4music

Again, nothing wrong with separate Amp and Speakers, that's what I have. Partly because I already had the amp, and simply bought speakers at a deep discount.

Next you have to decide what you want from the Speakers - Clear Mid/High, Deep Bass, Other. Given the small size of the room, your expectations have to be consistent with the room itself.

Also, this seems to be a dedicated Computer Room, and you might want to give some consideration to controlling the Room Acoustics. Probably would only take a few Acoustic Panels, which can be very easily DIY'd.

Here is an example of how some acoustic foam can make a big difference in the reflections in a modest sized room.



Steve/bluewizard
 
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dogfonos

Well-known Member
NeaIotas - 130 x 200 x 165mm
Monitor Audio SILVER 50 - 165 x 269 x 270
KEF Q350 - 210 x 306 x 358

Over the years, I've listened to my hifi in many rooms ranging in size from 10m x 10m to 3.2m x 2.2m and lots in between so I think I have a feel for matching speaker to room.

Unless your small room is of particularly unusual construction or is open to a larger space, I'd rule out the KEF Q350 as likely being a bit too bass-heavy in your room. I employed my budget active monitors, with a single 6.5" bass/mid in each cabinet, in my smallest room (about 40% larger than your room) and whilst a sonic delight, as always, they sounded a touch too warm to be considered accurate. And that's active speaker bass - usually better controlled than passive speaker bass, IME.

The Neat Iota on a desk? Not sure about that. The MA Silver 50 would, IME, be about the right size and therefore give an accurate tonal balance as would the KEF R100 suggested by gibbsy in post#2. Look for speakers with a single 5.25" bass/mid driver per cabinet. Larger bass driver areas than that will likely give a bass-heavy sound and that often muddies the mid-range too.

I would also be wary of spending lots of money on a system for such a small room where absolute audio quality might be slightly limited compared to an ideal listening room (whatever that is).

What active speakers would you recommend for my budget ?

I guess you're budget for active speakers would be around the £800 mark? Plenty of choice and you may not have to blow the entire budget either because actives usually give better sound-per-pound, IME. Three obvious cheap-ish candidates (you may be surprised just how good they sound) would be:

Yamaha HS5 Active Powered Studio Monitor Speaker

KRK Rokit RP5 G3

https://www.thomann.de/gb/adam_t5v.htm

Moving up the price range:

https://www.thomann.de/gb/adam_a3x_b_stock.htm

https://www.thomann.de/gb/eve_audio_sc205.htm

https://www.thomann.de/gb/focal_shape_40.htm

Genelec 8020D Active Studio Monitor

Just a few suggestions. There are so many more viable candidates.

I would be using the pc in some form or another as I have a couple of thousand ALAC files stored on it.
I've used the PC with my old Technics amp in the past but its a simple 3.5 mil jack to Phono.

Probably best to take a digital output from the PC. From posts I've seen on this forum over the years, and my own experiences, most folk achieve better results using a DAC that's external to the PC/laptop. Alternatively, use a wireless wifi connection to a digital streaming device which should give excellent audio quality though I'd suggest it's not often as easy as it should be to set up.

Last time I used internet radio the bit rate was very low. Sounded like an old analogue phone !

Some are still poor audio quality but is DAB, overall, any better? The way things are moving, I'd go with Internet radio. Suggest you look into this, as I have done recently, because I'm doubtful over DAB's future wrt high quality audio transmissions whereas the high sound quality end of Internet radio continue to grow.
 

Hoku

Active Member
As much as I like the MA Silvers, with a room your size I'd recommend the Neat Iotas every time. And should you change rooms for a larger one in years to come, they'll still sound fantastic with more space to breathe.

The Neat Iotas are really very special speakers and really bring the fun out of any music. The only caveat is that they understandably lack the scale needed for large orchestral works, but their midrange is so natural that they make up for any shortcomings in spades. Their tone is just lovely: instuments and human voices sound real, not forced 'hifi'. And should you want to upgrade your amp in years to come, they will respond accordingly.

They can happily be sited on a desk: indeed many demonstrations by Neat at shows were on cabinets. Just make sure they're properly isolated. Check out size appropriate stands by IsoAcoustics.

The principal benefit of the Neats in your situation is that they won't be generating problematic bass in the first place. It's all very well looking at room treatment but that's trying to solve a problem that you've created: if you can cut out bass notes with wavelengths that'll generate unwanted bass nodes in the first place, then all well and good.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Anything bought from gear4music has 30 day money back trial. The Teufal connector has 8 weeks, though not sure about Amazon music, you could ignore the teufal and the big knob and splash on a Yamaha wxa50 and get all the streaming you want in one unit, those actives are great for the money. The big knob is to give you switch between the Teufal and CD player and vol control for CD player but no remote vol control

Mackie MR624 6.5'' Powered Studio Monitor at Gear4music

Teufel Connector : Buy online at Teufel

Mackie Big Knob Passive Monitor Controller na Gear4Music.com

Marantz CD6006UKSE CD Player UK Edition - Superfi
 

simon194

Well-known Member
Why what?

With regard to Internet radio, I don't know what you were listening to but bit rates are generally decent & way better than DAB, which often has the added insult of glorious mono.
I agree, internet radio is much better than DAB which to be honest is only suitable for use in cars these days assuming you have decent coverage. In my area, with the exception of the BBC mux, there's something like 7 out of 18 music stations broadcasting in stereo over two muxes.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
If only he done this without the furniture.

I assume your point is that the furniture (to a limited extent) acts to diffuse and absorb the sound. In this case this is a Home Recording Studio, so I really don't see him having that much furniture. In a normal lounge, you are probably right, and clutter or soft furnishings will effect the sound.

But the point is, before and after, which this illustrates very nicely, and you can find many Before and After videos on YouTube illustrating the same point.

Again, this is a studio environment, but the Before and After are pretty clear -



There are dozens of similar videos on-line.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Nick_H

Active Member
Well I’ve just visited Richersounds in Sheffield …. That was an eye opener to be sure ! Let me set the scene….

I planned to pop round today when I finished work at 4pm so had a list of question prepared. It’s only 5 minutes from work and they are open till 6 so plenty of time.

Arrived about 16:25 to be greeted by an empty shop and 3 people behind the counter. Excellent I think !

I have to say that for a 50 year old and seeing all the kit I was pretty excited so approached the counter.

You know the feeling you instinctively get when you know they don’t really want you to be there ?

I explained my situation to them and the girl reluctantly stepped forward.

What ensued was painful I was asking questions and she just wasn’t interested. She recommended Cambridge Audio amp and when I asked her why was just met by an embarrassing silence. When I just stood there with my excitement rapidly ebbing away she started looking at the place card on the amp and mumbling it had this and that. I thought these people were enthusiast’s ?

It was good to see the KEF 350’s and the Monitor Audio Silver 50’s in the flesh so I tried to steer the conversation toward the relative merits of each speaker and to which amp would suit.

Yes one is smaller than the other she says… Ok at this point I look over at the other 2 behind the counter half expecting them to step in. No they just stand there looking.

At this point I just say OK thanks and walk out. Very disheartening experience and they have certainly lost my custom and future recommendation.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
@Richer Sounds
Well I’ve just visited Richersounds in Sheffield …. That was an eye opener to be sure ! Let me set the scene….

I planned to pop round today when I finished work at 4pm so had a list of question prepared. It’s only 5 minutes from work and they are open till 6 so plenty of time.

Arrived about 16:25 to be greeted by an empty shop and 3 people behind the counter. Excellent I think !

I have to say that for a 50 year old and seeing all the kit I was pretty excited so approached the counter.

You know the feeling you instinctively get when you know they don’t really want you to be there ?

I explained my situation to them and the girl reluctantly stepped forward.

What ensued was painful I was asking questions and she just wasn’t interested. She recommended Cambridge Audio amp and when I asked her why was just met by an embarrassing silence. When I just stood there with my excitement rapidly ebbing away she started looking at the place card on the amp and mumbling it had this and that. I thought these people were enthusiast’s ?

It was good to see the KEF 350’s and the Monitor Audio Silver 50’s in the flesh so I tried to steer the conversation toward the relative merits of each speaker and to which amp would suit.

Yes one is smaller than the other she says… Ok at this point I look over at the other 2 behind the counter half expecting them to step in. No they just stand there looking.

At this point I just say OK thanks and walk out. Very disheartening experience and they have certainly lost my custom and future recommendation.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Well I’ve just visited Richersounds in Sheffield …. That was an eye opener to be sure ! Let me set the scene….

I planned to pop round today when I finished work at 4pm so had a list of question prepared. It’s only 5 minutes from work and they are open till 6 so plenty of time.

Arrived about 16:25 to be greeted by an empty shop and 3 people behind the counter. Excellent I think !

I have to say that for a 50 year old and seeing all the kit I was pretty excited so approached the counter.

You know the feeling you instinctively get when you know they don’t really want you to be there ?

I explained my situation to them and the girl reluctantly stepped forward.

What ensued was painful I was asking questions and she just wasn’t interested. She recommended Cambridge Audio amp and when I asked her why was just met by an embarrassing silence. When I just stood there with my excitement rapidly ebbing away she started looking at the place card on the amp and mumbling it had this and that. I thought these people were enthusiast’s ?

It was good to see the KEF 350’s and the Monitor Audio Silver 50’s in the flesh so I tried to steer the conversation toward the relative merits of each speaker and to which amp would suit.

Yes one is smaller than the other she says… Ok at this point I look over at the other 2 behind the counter half expecting them to step in. No they just stand there looking.

At this point I just say OK thanks and walk out. Very disheartening experience and they have certainly lost my custom and future recommendation.
Certainly a pity, and a different class of experience than in the Belfast shop.
 

Nick_H

Active Member
Certainly a pity, and a different class of experience than in the Belfast shop.

Yeah very disappointing. I was hoping they would have been as enthusiastic as me and I would be able to purchase from a local shop :-( I did buy a Sony AV Amp from this branch about 11 years ago and it was a polar opposite to this experience.

Never mind onwards and upwards I'll just look elsewhere.
 

Richer Sounds

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Well I’ve just visited Richersounds in Sheffield …. That was an eye opener to be sure ! Let me set the scene….

I planned to pop round today when I finished work at 4pm so had a list of question prepared. It’s only 5 minutes from work and they are open till 6 so plenty of time.

Arrived about 16:25 to be greeted by an empty shop and 3 people behind the counter. Excellent I think !

I have to say that for a 50 year old and seeing all the kit I was pretty excited so approached the counter.

You know the feeling you instinctively get when you know they don’t really want you to be there ?

I explained my situation to them and the girl reluctantly stepped forward.

What ensued was painful I was asking questions and she just wasn’t interested. She recommended Cambridge Audio amp and when I asked her why was just met by an embarrassing silence. When I just stood there with my excitement rapidly ebbing away she started looking at the place card on the amp and mumbling it had this and that. I thought these people were enthusiast’s ?

It was good to see the KEF 350’s and the Monitor Audio Silver 50’s in the flesh so I tried to steer the conversation toward the relative merits of each speaker and to which amp would suit.

Yes one is smaller than the other she says… Ok at this point I look over at the other 2 behind the counter half expecting them to step in. No they just stand there looking.

At this point I just say OK thanks and walk out. Very disheartening experience and they have certainly lost my custom and future recommendation.

Hi there,

I was obviously sorry to read your comments on this thread regarding a recent visit to our Sheffield branch and offer my sincere apologies.

So that I may investigate further, and resolve the matter to your satisfaction, please could you drop me a PM with your details on?

Once again, I offer my apologies, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Many thanks

John Clayton
Operations Director
Richer Sounds
 

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