Help me decide on a new system

smugdessert2013

Novice Member
Hello everyone,

After reading a lot of reviews and a lot of posts on this forum, I need help in making a decision. I don't have a fixed budged, so I am willing to spend more if it means that I will make less upgrades in the future, but let's keep at around $7k for amp and speakers (+sub maybe).

Over the years I have collected a large number of CDs and vinyl records, but lately I have turned to streaming for commodity.
I want to listen to Tidal (or any other streaming service) for the most part of the day, but I want to have the ability to also enjoy my records on my SL-1200GR from time to time.

My room is small and I don't have the commodity of making separate rooms for HT and music listening, so I need a system to fit both of my needs. I am not interested nor I have the space for a multiple channel setup, so for me a stereo or 2.1 system will suffice. I play a lot of video games and watch a lot of movies, so I just preordered the Onkyo TX-RZ50 to fill my gaming and HT needs. It has DIRAC room correction, HDMI 2.1, eARC, and pre-outs.

The receiver is only for consoles and Blu-ray player, I have 8 consoles so I needed a lot of HDMI inputs. My music sources will not be connected to the receiver, but only to the amp.

Ideally, I want an amp that has ARC/eARC because not all my sources will be connected to the Onkyo (in order to rely just on pre-outs).

What am I looking for?

Mainly great streaming quality and the ability to use my speakers with my TV and gaming consoles. Secondary, if the amp has a phono stage it would be a plus, if not, I can get a separate phono stage.

I have gathered a list of gear I am inclined to buy, but I need help in making the decision.

KEF R7
KEF R3
MH-2 + BW-2
Q Acoustics Concept 300
Dynaudio Special Forty
Focal Aria 906

Focal Chora 826 (826-D)

SVS sub or BW sub (can't decide on the model)

Hegel H190

Naim Nait XS3
Cambridge Audio Edge A

Lyngdorf TDAI-1120
NAD M10 (Dirac)

Update: Currently leaning towards the TDAI-1120 + Gato Audio FM-30.


The problem here is the H190 does not have a phono stage. I also didn't find a lot of details regarding the streaming quality and I don't see support for Tidal.

From what I read, the Naim XS3 is a solid amp, but I will also need a DAC if I go this route. I am quite new to streaming, and I don't really know the gear very well. So, any guidance in this area will be appreciated.

I see that this one has a lot of great feedback here: Lyngdorf TDAI-1120. Since the receiver I have has Dirac, I am wondering if NAD M10 would be a better choice than the TDAI-1120.

I live in an apartment and my room is 13 ft by 10 ft, so let me know if you have any other suggestions for something that will sound good at low levels.

Thank you and I am looking forward for your answers!
 
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Nico72

Active Member
You say that you room is small (how small?) and that you are only interested in stereo or 2.1.
But then you ordered a 9.2 AV receiver, and want to buy rather large floorstanders and also add a sub.
That may not suit a small room well.

Also the receiver will not give you surround sound with just two speakers.
 

smugdessert2013

Novice Member
My room is 13 ft by 10 ft.

I ordered the receiver for my consoles. It is the only one that can support HDMI 2.1 from my consoles without lag or delay, and has a lot of HDMI ports (I have 8 consoles). A receiver is the only option here and all the new ones are 9.2-channel.

At the moment I am not interested in surround system for movies, I just want to use my speakers for both music listening and gaming / TV. I do not want to buy separate speakers for HT nor I have the space.

As I said, I am looking for something that will mainly be used for music listening, streaming / records, while having the ability to also use it for my TV.
 

Nico72

Active Member
Thanks for the clarification. If you need 8 HDMI inputs then the AV receiver with front pre out makes sense.
For best stereo sound, go for an amp with HT bypass and plug all your music sources directly in the stereo amp, not through the AV receiver.
The Lyngdorf comes with room perfect, which is generally rated better than Dirac for music.
Still I believe that the R7 are a bit too much for the size of your room, but room perfect will help with that.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
Lyngdorf 1120 - has RoomPerfect which takes some beating. Lyngdorf amps with RP have been the best audio purchases I have ever made. You don't realise how much a room affects the sound until you have room correction and Lyngdorf's RP is a doddle to setup.

Plenty on here integrating the 1120 with a HT receiver very successfully
 

Nico72

Active Member
In a room that size I would go with a pair of high quality bookshelf speakers on solid stands, and add a sub, which is probably needed more for gaming than music listening. Either the AV amp or possibly the Lyngdorf 1120 will integrate the speakers with the sub.
Speakers are a very subjective choice so I suggest you audition a few brands to decide what type of sound you like. If you like KEF, maybe the R3 will suit your room better.
Alternatively compact floorstanders like Neat Motive SX2. But I do recommend you audition, as speakers can sound very different.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Looking at the size of your room you may very well be better off with the KEF R3s as you have indicated the desire for a sub. I'd also consider the Dynaudio Special 40s with a Naim. Personally I would not pair a Naim with any KEF speaker. I auditioned the XS2 several years ago with the KEF R300s and it failed miserably to control the bass response which was a real disappointment.

The Lyngdorf has had good responses from KEF owners and Room Perfect can make all the difference. If you wish to go down the KEF route then consider the pure analogue Rega Elicit-R, which has HT by-pass, an amp that was my final choice for my R300s.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
If you are only ever going to use stereo 2.0 or 2.1 then I'd keep it simple -

Consoles > 8 way HDMI switcher > TV HDMI In > TV Optical or HDMI out > choice of amps potentially with DAC > speakers

In this case HDMI HDCP 2.2 4K switchers can be had for around £1-200 from Amazon / Farnell etc. pls the Lyngdorf 1120 (chose HDMi in or Optical which every you find the best with lowest lag) and add Kef R3 or Dynaudio Special 40's depedning on budget and a sub like the BK Electronics P12.

Edit - looking on line it seems that full 4k x 60hz HDCP2.2 switchers are not that common so you may need two 4 way switchers. This one seems to do the job for £350 -

Amazon product
 
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gava

Active Member
Nice small room like that a pair of KEF LS50M + KEF KC62 sub should be a very nice combo.

Pair with the Lyngdorf 1120 or M10 to sort out room correction. Very reasonably priced and quite superb sound.

Combined that will come in very comfortably within your budget.

Honestly I think that sized room you will hit a sweet spot where diminishing returns kicks in HARD. To significantly improve on the sound a substantial amount of extra cash will be required.

Even ASR thinks the new metas are excellent.



Roomperfect or Dirac will let you cool the top end if you find it too bright, alternatively the R3 is not a lot of extra money and could be a good alternative to the metas.
 

smugdessert2013

Novice Member
@gava I was also thinking of the LS50M when I first started planning. Though, I can stretch my budged a little over the price of LS50M and R3 at the moment so I was looking into more options.

The Special Forty are also on my list.

@Ugg10 Unfortunately a HDMI switcher has too much lag for 4K 120hz. Here the Onkyo is the only option.
 
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gava

Active Member
Standmount and sub
  • Special Forty or Contour 20
  • I very much enjoy my Q Acoustics Concept 300.
  • KEF Ref 1 - push the boat right out
  • Focal Sopra N1
  • Revel M126Be
If you want a floorstander then perhaps:
  • Revel F226Be.
  • Q Acoustics Concept 500
  • Dynaudio Contour 30 or 60
Also perhaps consider some actives:
  • Dynaudio Focus 60 XD
  • Buchard S700
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Won’t floor standing be to large in 3.4 meters room?

If so Triangle, Focal, Elac might work.

They are front ported I believe.
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
I move from focal aria to kef 700 and the top is notably better. In terms of a small room the r3/r300 would be a good match. Amp wise depends on budget and sources. The Hegel would be a good choice to drive Kef at the no the easiest to drive . Disc spinners may want a separate pre amp in any case.
Metas would be great but depending on music taste might not have enough bottom end or move enough air.
 

daddy999

Active Member
I had a similar budget, I went with Monitor Audio Gold 100’s and stands, Yamaha AS2100 amp (phono stage is excellent), Rega Planar 3 with Neo PSU and the new 2021 version Bluesound Node for streaming. Absolutely love the system.

I live in an apartment, the speakers are sensitive enough to sound great a low levels which was one of my pre-requisites.

Good luck with the demo’s.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
For your budget I’d go for the Lyngdorf 1120 and standmounts plus two subs.

Perhaps these


If you prefer floorstanders then I’d stick with small ones.


Or a pair of these much loved speakers.


And a pair of BK electronics XLS200s. They are not huge, but sound fantastic. If you can get one in each corner the 1120 will make them invisible.

Personally, the idea of the Lyngdorf and the Kudos Cardea C20 is an awesome one.

If I was starting now with six to seven grand that would be my first stop.

 
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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Big floorstanders in that sized room would be mighty overkill. As good as the R7s are, they were not designed for a room that size.

Whilst RoomPerfect would cure most overblown effects, the physical size of them would overwhelm the room too.

Also, should you choose the 1120 and a sub or two then you certainly won’t need the extra potential mass of a big floorstsnder.

The sub(s) do a much better job anyway.
 

smugdessert2013

Novice Member
Thanks @ashenfie

After reading lots and lots of reviews and comparisons between Dirac and RoomPerfect, I think I finally decided to go for the TDAI-1120. My local retailer has it and it makes things easier.

@Paul7777x I like the idea of Kudos Cardea C20. I will try to ask the retailer if they can get them, I see that they're not currently on their site.

@daddy999 Another thing that I missed mentioning is that I also live in an apartment, so I need to make sure that they sound good at low levels.
 

smugdessert2013

Novice Member
One other thing I am interested in is how good the DAC and streaming capabilities of the TDAI are. I see it does not have Tidal Connect, so I will probably use Roon.

Same question for the phono stage. Do you have a good experience with it, or should I plan on investing in a separate phono pre-amp?
 

gava

Active Member
Note that Roomperfect works very well with Dipole speakers - a lot of the high end Lyngdorf range of speakers are of that design. They are extremely expensive though.

However - if you are in the USA then it may be worth noting that Spatial Audio has just updated their range of Open Baffle / Dipole speakers with some slightly smaller models.

I would very seriously look at a way to audition the 1120 with One of the new M6 or M4 Sapphires.


My next upgrade will be an 1120 (hopefully in the next couple of months) and then after that I think the M4 will be end-game.

The downside of dipole speakers is that without Roomperfect you need to put them at least 1m away from the front wall, but that shouldn't be a problem with the 1120.
 

gava

Active Member
They are direct sales only as far as I know. But therefore have to have a good returns policy.
 

smugdessert2013

Novice Member
One other pair I am considering are the Gato Audio FM-30. I like the sonic adjustment feature they present, maybe for my room that would be a plus, but I really don't know. Another thing I consider a plus for the FM-30 is the fact that I can order them and test them with my setup. With RoomPerfect and the small room I have, even if I go for a demo session at my retailer, the results could be very different, so the ability to test them straight with my setup seems like a good idea.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Note that Roomperfect works very well with Dipole speakers - a lot of the high end Lyngdorf range of speakers are of that design. They are extremely expensive though.

However - if you are in the USA then it may be worth noting that Spatial Audio has just updated their range of Open Baffle / Dipole speakers with some slightly smaller models.

I would very seriously look at a way to audition the 1120 with One of the new M6 or M4 Sapphires.


My next upgrade will be an 1120 (hopefully in the next couple of months) and then after that I think the M4 will be end-game.

The downside of dipole speakers is that without Roomperfect you need to put them at least 1m away from the front wall, but that shouldn't be a problem with the 1120.

The Sapphires look interesting indeed. I’d be very interested to hear a pair on the end of the 1120.
 

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