How to best complete my hi-fi set up?

sopagani

Standard Member
Hi All

New to Hi-Fi but passionate about music. I have put together a set-up without spending a fortune which currently includes:

A Rega P2 turntable with Elys 2, Rega Fono MKII, and B&W dm 601 S3.

I have an old Yamaha piano craft amp which I’m not sure complements the rest of the components…

Could anyone help me understand how best to complete my set up with an appropriate amp?

I listen to a lot of different genres, favourites include Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, Radiohead’s Kid A, Beatles’s Sgt Pepper, Miles Davies’s Kind of Blue, Buena Vista Social Club, Kraftwerk, classical…basically I’d need an all rounder I suppose…

Looking to spend £3-400 and was also wondering whether to keep the Fono MKII or go for an amp with phono stage included?

Any help would be massively appreciated!
S
 

karlsushi

Active Member
Obvious choice within that price range would be a Rega io. It has an inbuilt phono stage likely very similar (if not the same) as your Fono.

Other options might depend on whether you are considering digital/streaming playback, but the Rega is probably a solid option in that price range.

If you are looking at second hand, this could open a number of alternative options.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
This so a great amp and a bargain price here.


As is this one

 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
You would need to listen for yourself to find out if you preferred the phono stage from Rega or the one in the amp.

But both the Rotels are first class amplifiers and will easily handle the B&Ws all day, and very well too.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
And this is getting a fine name for itself too.

It also has Bluetooth and three digital inputs so is very versatile, should you want to add, say, your tv to your hifi.

 

Nico72

Active Member
Mind you the Rega IO was tested last week on ASR and got poor measurements (mains noise, crosstalk, excessive heat, poor headphone amp). I would avoid the IO. I wonder whether Rega had to cut corners to reduce cost. It sounds like Rega amps should be considered only from the Brio up. The phono stage in the IO is good, but you already have a phono preamp.
Similarly priced Japanese amps such as the mentioned Rotel, Denon (and I woul add Marantz and Yamaha) are likely to be designed and assembled better, hence more reliable and performing closer to the design specification.
 
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Kapkirk

Active Member
The Denon PMA 600ne is a very nice sounding amp, available for about £350
 

sopagani

Standard Member
Obvious choice within that price range would be a Rega io. It has an inbuilt phono stage likely very similar (if not the same) as your Fono.

Other options might depend on whether you are considering digital/streaming playback, but the Rega is probably a solid option in that price range.

If you are looking at second hand, this could open a number of alternative options.
Thank you

Have been eyeing the IO and the Brio but was wondering about diff in phono stage so helpful to know the IO is likely to be the same as I have.

Definitely looking at used market too (the P2 is the only new piece in the set up for now).

S
 

sopagani

Standard Member
This so a great amp and a bargain price here.


As is this one

Thank you

A close friend who I’ve started this hi-go journey with has just got himself the A11 tribute and swears by it.

He lives a three hours drive away which is annoying as would really like to go listen to it.

Will read up about the Denon!

S
 

Nico72

Active Member

Kapkirk

Active Member
Might also be worth looking for a used Audiolab 6000, great little amps.
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Whichever anp you get I’d consider keeping the Rega Fono for comparison with the amps phono stage. If you can’t heard the difference sell the Fono.

Have connected my Fono to a couple of pals amps including the Rotel A11 mentioned above and they both said it’s a clear improvement on the amps phono stage
 
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sopagani

Standard Member
Hi all

I ended up purchasing the Rotel RA 1520 and it works brilliantly!

Since, I have upgraded my turntable to a Rega P3 and have to say the set up has never sounded this good!

Been told that for the next sonic step up I should upgrade my B&W dm601 s3 speakers.

Been wondering whether to look into newer B&W bookshelf speakers like 606/607 s2 Anniversary or go for old B&W floor standing ones like dm603 s3, 684s or even P…series.

Alternatively go with more contemporary speakers like Dali Oberon 5.

The room is not particularly large, so not looking for great volume, but augmenting the sound experience, the space, the detail.

Also if going for floor standing ones I would like them not to tower either side of a sofa, ideally 75cm or 80cm height, but not much choice I feel amongst shorter floor standing speakers…

Any help or thought much appreciated!

Thank you and best
S
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
The 601s can certainly be bettered. They are great budget speakers, but both the amp and TT can certainly get the best out of better speakers.

Finding floorstanders that diminutive isn’t easy though, and it’s important to consider the room volume too.

For instance, the DM603s will swamp a modest size room quite easily. Neither will they sound better, just bigger which is only useful in a bigger room or at a party.

I’d try some of these.



Both are small and will sound quite a bit of an upgrade on your current 601s
 
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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Another pair of petite but exceptional speakers.

 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
If it’s possible with your budget, I’d stick with top class standmounts and go for these.


Good review here.


Or the newly near legendary Kef Rs

 
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Call me Candy

Well-known Member
I have the Spendor A1s for my bedroom setup ( with Cyrus). They are tiny speakers, provide a lovely soundstage & bags of detail. Definitely not for anyone who loves pounding bass though. Also I would say they are more suited for smaller rooms.
They are also sealed speakers so not too fussy about placement. Mine are on Atacama stands, about 2.5m apart, toed in & only 26cm from back wall.
 

sopagani

Standard Member
You could also watch these.

Thank you so much, always super insightful and helpful.

My room is about 3.5m x 4.5m so not tiny but not large either.

As mentioned, I’m looking to enhance the sound experience, whether listening to female vocals, classic violin or a Radiohead record. Less interested in volume for a party.

As per budget…
I was hoping to settle on something around the £500ish mark, used is fine too of course. Hence why I was looking at older but more refined models of my B&W.

Now that I’m looking at your suggestions though it makes want to save up…

Also wondering whether upgrading to Rega Exact from Elys2 would be a key move?

Thank you again
S
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I’d replace the speakers before the cartridge.

The speakers are the weakest link now.

The Spendor A3 above would seem to be a perfect match for your budget. It’s certainly worth making an offer.
 

Call me Candy

Well-known Member
Far be it for me to spend other people's money- but @Paul7777x is spot on.
That is a good price for excellent speakers.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
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