Help choosing an amplifier and speakers

LJD123

Standard Member
I am in the process of choosing a new amplifier and speakers and need some help making a final decision. I mainly play vinyl and some CDs so am not looking for DAC or streaming options.
So far I have come down to three choices for an amplifier:
1. Rotel A11 Tribute
2. Rega Brio
3. Edwards Audio iA5

for speakers I am leaning towards the following two:
1. Q Acoustics 3050i
2. Klipsch r620f
Any thoughts, recommendations or alternatives appreciated.

cheers
Liam
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
First of all, welcome to the forum.

🤔No streaming, is this correct? If so the Rotel Tribute is supposed to very good, haven’t heard it yet. Probably never, since I stream my music.

I am no TT expect, so I assume many forum members well chose the Rega amplifier. Rega is famous for TT phono stage.

If so I think Klipsch, Rega we’ll be perfect combination. You’ll get Rega neutral/warm sound compared with Klipsch rock and roll sound.

So it depends which sound you want from the speakers.

Klipsch is very flat sounding. Flat shut midrange, treble. Great bass response, still flat sounding, I’d say they resemble like the vocals are singing from far away, almost like a tunnel. If this is the sound you like go for it.

The Reason I’m mentioning Rega is because with right speaker they can really rock. Warm, full midrange. Soft sounding, perfect with Klipsch flat sound.

Edwards, never heard about them...

QAcoustic is more my kind of speakers. Neutral the correct way. Much more upfront midrange, not shut in like Klipsch. Treble breaths, bass quite good. Klipsh are better there because the bass is faster, not necessarily as deep as QAcoustic.

I’d go for the Rega, qAcoustic and and the Rotel.

There are of course tons of other amplifiers and so on.

Still, if this your first stereo set up, you’re on the right track.
 

LJD123

Standard Member
Thank you for the reply, that is good to know. I have only heard good things about the 3050i speakers.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Thank you for the reply, that is good to know. I have only heard good things about the 3050i speakers.
But the Klipsch floor standing speakers are much easier to drive. They we’ll play much louder then the qAcoustic. I suggest you listen to both set off speakers, your taste can be different from my.

But let’s say this way, if you really wanna rock, pick the Klipsch.

If you play a lot Deep Purple, Guns and roses, Ac Dc. Then the Klipsch are better.

QAcoustic are more all round speakers.

Good luck.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Hi,

I have the Rotel A11 Tribute you are considering, but haven't heard the other two amps, although the Rego Brio is super popular amongst AVForums members. I really enjoy the Rotel, having tried a few others, I have settled with this one for now. It provides a nice blend of smoothness and clarity, but is a little light on the bass. The bass sounds well formed and natural, but it seems to play it down just a little in terms of bass weight and slam. Rotel is probably aware of this, and have included several built-in EQ options to boost the bass. I never use them personally. What you get is a beautiful soundstage, nice imaging, and plenty of detail and a smooth, natural, effortless delivery (at least to me and for the price). They didn't change the built-in phono preamp, so it is the same as the old Rotel A11. Sounds fine to me though. I imagine the Rega Brio may be better though. Oh, one more thing...the A11 Tribute is rated at 50w by Rotel, but an independent test put it at 78w per channel into 8 Ohms continuous, with peaks up to nearly 120w per channel. In other words, its a lot more powerful than the specs show. It has a funny volume meter, and is very quiet below 40%, but after that it begins to come into full force. I generally keep it around 50-60. I spoke to Rotel about my concerns about turning an amp up to 60% to get a good listening volume and they said not to worry. The number on the dial isn't percentage of the amp's power being used. Even at 75 and up, there is still plenty left in reserve. Although they don't recommend long periods of play at levels much higher than this. I can honestly say that with the Bronze 5s, at 75 on the dial, it would be freaking loud.

To me, the Rotel may not pair well with Klipsch speakers. I haven't tried the combo, but, at least to me, the Rotel pairs better with smoother speakers, like the Q Acoustics 3050i. Klipsch are known for being pretty "rock and roll", very exciting and lively, even bright or harsh. It is a matter of personal taste though. If you like that kind of sound, then it may work for you. Probably sounds great with heavy metal and punk, etc, but I don't listen to these genres, so have no idea. I like to relax when I listen. Exciting speakers paired with the Rotel can be a bit too much for me. I am a fan of Monitor Audio speakers myself. They have a reputation for being a bit bright, although I have not experienced this myself. I confess to only having tried the Bronze ranges. Maybe the silver or gold ranges are more lively.

Hope that helps :) Good luck with choosing a new system.
 

madfiddler

Active Member
You didn’t mention budget, can I take it you are already sorted with a TT and CDP? If so what are those? Do you have a phono preamp already?

what sort of sound are you looking to achieve? I’d take a look at arcam sa10 or sa20 bundles to see what is about

here‘s one for starters

there are also SA20 and CDS50 bundles knocking about but the CDP is also SACD and a streamer, so maybe more than you really need or are interested in….
 

LJD123

Standard Member
I have a good turntable Edwards Audio which is similar to a Rega. Have a 90s Sherwood CD but I am undecided on the benefits of upgrading that. For now priority is speakers, then amplifier.
My current amp is an Akai M570 which I bought when I was in sixth form. As I am now 50 thought it might be worth upgrading.
thanks for the help
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
If you are ok with second hand can I suggest either of these amps -

Roksan Kandy K2 at £400


Or the brilliant Arcam A32 at £495 (looks like it has the optional phono stage but double check)


There is also a Rotel RA1062 on eBay but I think it is well over priced at £375, should be nearer £250-300.

Add to these pair of Kef R500 floorstanders at £700


For the sherwood CD if it has optical or coax digital out you can add a Topping E30 or SMSL Sanskrit 10th mk2 which should bring a boost in sound quality for not a lot over £100.
 

LJD123

Standard Member
If you are ok with second hand can I suggest either of these amps -

Roksan Kandy K2 at £400


Or the brilliant Arcam A32 at £495 (looks like it has the optional phono stage but double check)


There is also a Rotel RA1062 on eBay but I think it is well over priced at £375, should be nearer £250-300.

Add to these pair of Kef R500 floorstanders at £700


For the sherwood CD if it has optical or coax digital out you can add a Topping E30 or SMSL Sanskrit 10th mk2 which should bring a boost in sound quality for not a lot over £100.
Thanks that is useful, not considered second hand at that price but will look out for those amps
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I have a good turntable Edwards Audio which is similar to a Rega. Have a 90s Sherwood CD but I am undecided on the benefits of upgrading that. For now priority is speakers, then amplifier.
My current amp is an Akai M570 which I bought when I was in sixth form. As I am now 50 thought it might be worth upgrading.
thanks for the help

That is astonishingly self controlled of you...

I’m much the same.

In that period I bet I haven’t had more than... say... 45 amps.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Both the Rega and the Rotel are very good and safe bets. I doubt you’d be less than delighted with either.

If your happy with used then speakers are many and multiple.

A coupe below to help out.




 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
If you’d fancy an amp with a considerable power vantage over the Rega and the Rotel, then one of these lauded items would suit your requirements. And will drive just about anything all day.

 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
And for close to what I gather is your original budget then this very much impressive bundle is a bit of a bargain.

 

LJD123

Standard Member
That is great. Love discovering another rabbit hole to get lost in. An interesting new combination.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
That is great. Love discovering another rabbit hole to get lost in. An interesting new combination.
Buying HiFi...and more-so asking for opinions on HiFi, is indeed a deep, deep rabbit hole to tumble into. Personally, I've tried to avoid it myself. It's easy to get lost in endless recommendations while losing sight of the original intention or question. The only thing that's better than spending your own money is spending someone else's money ;)

My 2 cents is this:

I rarely buy second hand equipment. I've been burned too many times.

I pick equipment to suit my taste in music and the kind of sound I like. What music to you enjoy and what sort of sound do you enjoy? Choosing equipment should always be based on getting the most out of your music. Many people into audio even chose music to suit their equipment and start listening to obscure "audiophile recordings" of music which, frankly, while well recorded, mastered and pressed, is not to my taste and maybe not even theirs. Some of my favourite music is badly mastered, with a dynamic range often well below 10, even as low as 5. On a lot of more expensive or more resolving (detailed) equipment, my crapply mastered CDs and old 70s scratchy second hand (even 20th hand) vinyl sound rubbish. To me they sound better on budget stuff. Just my 2 cents. Plus, the differences between equipment is often small. Sure, you can focus on the details and making them stand out, which is what reviewers do, but in reality, most stuff made today is decent. Even a £300 entry level Cambridge Amp I have sounds great to me. Sure, you will get more power, detail, better imaging and other things with a £1000 amp, but is that really what you are after? Or do you just want to sit back and relax, or sit forward and headbang?

If you like rock, heavy metal, punk, etc, or if your hearing isnt so good, and you like it loud and fist pumping into the air, then Klipsch speakers may be your match, plus a 30-50w amp to drive them. They are super easy to drive. The Rega Brio would work nicely to tame the Klipsch a little, like a little yogurt on chilli to ease the heat.

If you like a smooth, relaxing, detailed sound, like jazz, singer-song writer, light rock, classical, the Q Acoustics 3050i will be nice. Pair it with the Rotel A11 Tribute and I think you will get the detail, nice imaging and easy delivery of the Rotel with the smoothness of the Q Acoustics. It might be what you need. Like a little cayenne in your hot chocolate, just to make it interesting.

I think your original shortlist was fine. You can always return something if you don't like the combination and explore other options.

Good luck :)
 

LJD123

Standard Member
That is really helpful. I mainly have spent my money over the years on records so have lots and lots of old vinyl to play. Probably more leaning toward the latter description in terms of types of music, I probably have more Neil Young than any other artist, but have quite an eclectic range.
Hoping to find a shop that stocks some of these products in store (Richer Sounds near me does not). Aiming for precise warm sound rather than huge volume.
I had an old Rotel receiver in the 70s as a kid, probably only 15w per channel but my memory of it was the greatest sound I ever heard. In terms of second hand I agree pretty much any would only pick up low priced items rather than risking a lot of my budget on premium items.
Thanks for the help.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
As a slight aside, if you are using a turntable as your main source, and iirc the Goldring is a Rega P2/RB251 or possibly a P1/RB101 in disguise depending on model, then upgrading your cartridge will probably have the biggest effect on the sound bar second only to changing the speakers.

If it is the RB251 this can take some quite large steps up in cartridge, the AT VM95ML is probably the best bang for buck in Hifi IMO, £129 if you search around, it’s a micro line stylus and has a life around 3 time that of a normal elliptical (1000-1500 hrs).

What turntable model and cartridge do you have at the moment? Depending on the cartridge it may be possible to just upgrade the stylus.
 

LJD123

Standard Member
As a slight aside, if you are using a turntable as your main source, and iirc the Goldring is a Rega P2/RB251 or possibly a P1/RB101 in disguise depending on model, then upgrading your cartridge will probably have the biggest effect on the sound bar second only to changing the speakers.

If it is the RB251 this can take some quite large steps up in cartridge, the AT VM95ML is probably the best bang for buck in Hifi IMO, £129 if you search around, it’s a micro line stylus and has a life around 3 time that of a normal elliptical (1000-1500 hrs).

What turntable model and cartridge do you have at the moment? Depending on the cartridge it may be possible to just upgrade the stylus.
I have an Edwards Audio TT1 and the Green Talk Zephyr cartridge which is the equivalent of the AT95E ones I have had before. I had considered upgrading to the Red Ortofon once I have sorted the speakers and amp.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
That is really helpful. I mainly have spent my money over the years on records so have lots and lots of old vinyl to play. Probably more leaning toward the latter description in terms of types of music, I probably have more Neil Young than any other artist, but have quite an eclectic range.
Hoping to find a shop that stocks some of these products in store (Richer Sounds near me does not). Aiming for precise warm sound rather than huge volume.
I had an old Rotel receiver in the 70s as a kid, probably only 15w per channel but my memory of it was the greatest sound I ever heard. In terms of second hand I agree pretty much any would only pick up low priced items rather than risking a lot of my budget on premium items.
Thanks for the help.
I also have the impression the Rotel A11 Tribute and the Q Acoustics 3050i might be a good option for you. The Rotel has plenty of power and an effortless, smooth but detailed presentation, much like the Q Acoustics, but both are very reserved and easy going. The Rotel's phono preamp is also quite forgiving in my experience. Good luck :)
 

FootHealer

Active Member
I have an Edwards Audio TT1 and the Green Talk Zephyr cartridge which is the equivalent of the AT95E ones I have had before. I had considered upgrading to the Red Ortofon once I have sorted the speakers and amp.
I have the Ortofon 2M Red, but prefer the similarly priced Goldring E3 cartridge. Its a bit more balanced to my ears and a similar price.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
I think the Ortofon Red is a bit of a marmite cartridge - its "only" an eliptical (same dimensions as the VM95e) and has a reputation of being quite clinical/cold (I had a Silver stylus on a red cart = red caet and stylus and this is what I found), the 2M Blue is also described geenrally as CD like (same cartride but with nude eliptical stylus). It is also over twice the price of the VM95e as well and not far below the VM95ML which is equivalent to the 2M bronze in terms of stylus design.
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
I have an Edwards Audio TT1 and the Green Talk Zephyr cartridge which is the equivalent of the AT95E ones I have had before. I had considered upgrading to the Red Ortofon once I have sorted the speakers and amp.
I don't consider the Ortofon Red to be a good cartridge, sound reproduction-wise. That said, you might like it. If seriously Considering the Red, demo is a must. Personally, I'd stick with the AT and upgrade it's stylus.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
I don't consider the Ortofon Red to be a good cartridge, sound reproduction-wise. That said, you might like it. If seriously Considering the Red, demo is a must. Personally, I'd stick with the AT and upgrade it's stylus.
I agree. The 2M red came with a turntable as standard. I replaced it with a Goldring E3. Much preferring it. I have had the AT95e and the Goldring was a significant improvment for me.
 

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