Help pairing streaming amp to Concept 20 speakers

dadneedshifi

Active Member
Hi all,

This forum has been a game changer for me and I just wanted to start by thanking you all.

This is my second thread and it was suggested that I start this because my original thread was about pairing an integrated amp with my Concept 20s. I settled on the Rotel A12MKII. I love the sound -- I don't like bright sounding speakers or amps, which is how I ended up with the Concept 20s -- but the amp has a loose USB port. I returned it and got another faulty amp. The company I purchased from said their other customers had the same issue.

I'm now leaning in the direction of going with a streamer and many people on the thread noted that this forum has tons of experience with the various streamers out there and would love some advice.

My key needs are:

Trying to stay below $2k (usd)

Simple interface so my wife can very easily stream and play music from Spotify

Connects to our TV

Connects to our turntable


Some of the recommendations that have come my way are:

NAD C399

Bluesound Node2i

NAD C700

Lyngdorf 1120


Anyway, I'd love your thoughts. If I've missed some, open to recommendations. Would love your experiences with these streamers I've listed. Also how you think they'd perform with the Concept 20s. And recognizing I'm not into bright sound.

Thank you so much.

Dadneedshifi
 

gava

Well-known Member
I've not heard the (Power)Node or C700.

But you probably won't be surprised to hear me say that the C399 is in a different class to the other 3. Certainly a different class to the 1120 in my experience, much more powerful and much cleaner. And the 1120 is almost certainly above the other 2

There are many 1120 fans on this forum who would need a lot of convincing however. I'm sure they will contribute. :)

Home trial to compare would be best.

What does your room look like?

Other reviewers are also singing its praises now - saying the same thing though. In particular Soundstage just did a review and also ran it through their AudioPrecision analyser and it actually measured cleaner (just a tiny bit) than the NAD M33!! (But with less power).

My prediction is that in 3-6 months from now the C399 will be regarded as having redefined what is possible at this price point.



And at #50 - about 275 places higher than the 1120 on a SINAD performance list maintained by one of the ASR forum members. And I prefer BluOS to the Lyngdorf control system.

 
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dadneedshifi

Active Member
I've not heard the (Power)Node or C700.

But you probably won't be surprised to hear me say that the C399 is in a different class to the other 3. Certainly a different class to the 1120 in my experience, and it's almost certainly above the other 2. Much more powerful and much cleaner.

There are many 1120 fans on this forum who would need a lot of convincing however. I'm sure they will contribute. :)

Home trial to compare would be best.

What speakers/subs do you have? And what does your room look like?

Other reviewers are also singing its praises now - saying the same thing though. In particular Soundstage just did a review and also ran it through their AudioPrecision analyser and it actually measured cleaner (just a tiny bit) than the NAD M33!! (But with less power).

My prediction is that in 3-6 months from now the C399 will be regarded as having redefined what is possible at this price point.



And at #50 - about 275 places higher than the 1120 on a SINAD performance list maintained by one of the ASR forum members. And I prefer BluOS to the Lyngdorf control system.


Thanks for the super detailed response.

The 399 seems fantastic.

I’ve heard NAD is usually a brighter and forward sounded. Is that true?

And they are often a bit glitchy and need firmware updates.
 

gava

Well-known Member
Thanks for the super detailed response.

The 399 seems fantastic.

I’ve heard NAD is usually a brighter and forward sounded. Is that true?

And they are often a bit glitchy and need firmware updates.

The last NAD amp I owned was about 30 years ago, so I can't comment on them in general.

I think the sound of this amp is characterised really by the Hypex NCore modules and the ESS DAC rather than anything NAD are doing; it is very clean, dynamic and neutral with large power reserves. All NAD have to do is not mess it up. :)

I haven't heard the C20s, but I have the C300s, and it drives them beautifully. (In case you ever decide to upgrade) I would suggest a sub or two to go with them however. It's quite amazing how you can just keep cranking the volume and there is no distortion and the magnificent soundstage and dynamics and inky black background just remain. It keeps getting louder but never gets noisy.

I have had more glitches than most due I think to a very noisy power supply in my apartment, but the custom firmware they have me on seems to have tamed that. I no longer have any hesitation in recommending it highly. The phono stage measured very well I believe, and I'd highly recommend giving Qobuz a trial and comparing it to Spotify. I believe I can hear a quite noticeable difference, but I haven't done any blind testing to prove it. :)

It is true they take a few months to settle into a fully stable firmware, but most people haven't had any issues with it even at launch.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
My Rotel amplifier has also totally silent background. Can crank the volume without any hint of distortion. No speaker hiss. Which is strange because the Marantz PM8006 has speaker hiss, at least in my listing room.

If an amplifier is designed well it does not matter if it’s Class D, Class AB.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Are you referring to THD above? If so higher numbers, lower noice floor. No speaker hiss also, if I am not mistaken.

THD has a lot to with total silent background, so you can hear the small details clearly.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
What really strikes me with the Rotel-amplifier I have, is it stunning ability to produce private connect in my living room.

If the singer moves to left, I can hear this clearly. The Tambourine on the Bond-track, Goldfinger.

Epically female voices. Take Shirley Bassey’s as example. When she sings “this heart is cold, he loves only gold”. You can hear the danger in her voice when she sings “cold”.

Not beckoning anyone to enter Mister Goldinger trap.

This is hifi!
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Also it doesn’t hurt watching The Avengers Infinity War, the first one. When the intro begins, goosebumps every time.
 

dadneedshifi

Active Member
I've not heard the (Power)Node or C700.

But you probably won't be surprised to hear me say that the C399 is in a different class to the other 3. Certainly a different class to the 1120 in my experience, much more powerful and much cleaner. And the 1120 is almost certainly above the other 2

There are many 1120 fans on this forum who would need a lot of convincing however. I'm sure they will contribute. :)

Home trial to compare would be best.

What does your room look like?

Other reviewers are also singing its praises now - saying the same thing though. In particular Soundstage just did a review and also ran it through their AudioPrecision analyser and it actually measured cleaner (just a tiny bit) than the NAD M33!! (But with less power).

My prediction is that in 3-6 months from now the C399 will be regarded as having redefined what is possible at this price point.



And at #50 - about 275 places higher than the 1120 on a SINAD performance list maintained by one of the ASR forum members. And I prefer BluOS to the Lyngdorf control system.


Is it pretty necessary to buy the C399 with the Blue OS and the Dirac?

And are those significant upgrades?
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Is it pretty necessary to buy the C399 with the Blue OS and the Dirac?

And are those significant upgrades?
From my understanding should you take advantage of using Bluesound own streaming platform, then yes. This probably cost the same as the Node streamer.

Dirac can do “wonders” if the listing room is not optimal. I don’t know, you have to ask others.
 

gava

Well-known Member
Is it pretty necessary to buy the C399 with the Blue OS and the Dirac?

And are those significant upgrades?
Yes it contains the streamer.

Also the Dirac Live processor.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Worth checking but I think nad only bundle the “basic” Dirac version which only acts below 500hz, if you want the full spectrum version it is usually around £100 extra. Worth asking and they may throw it in for free.
 

gava

Well-known Member
The full version costs an extra $99 (£68 when I got it) - you don't need to buy it at all, and certainly not immediately.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
OP, you say simple in your first post, the powernode is probably the simplest option. Most seem to love it
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
In terms is ease of use I think they all include Spotify Connect, all you need to do is turn on the amp and everything else is controlled by Spotify app. Use the app to select the amp as an out put then just hit play.

Not the phone/tablet is only acting as a remote so no music goes through the phone/tablet with Spotify connect. It just tells the amp to drag the music from the internet directly.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
I believe Powernode has bass management also. Rotel has mono subwoofers outputs.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Also Rotel mono subwoofers outputs are very confusing. Can I connect one subwoofer, or is it specifically for two subwoofers? I know @Khazul has helped me before with this question, still it’s very confusing.

I have had subwoofers connected to amplifiers in past. Then I used the pre out connection. Then it is stereo sound. Is it possible to connect one subwoofer to the Rotel-amplifier? Which cables do I need? Well it work in the same fashion like pre out, speaker terminals ?

I intend perhaps soon to add Svs subwoofer. The sound is amazing now but more bass is always better.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Also getting smooth transition with my speakers well be challenging, since they go as low as 30 Hz.
 

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