Itch Scratched

DefDave

Active Member
I don't regard myself as an audiophile or see hi-fi as a hobby. I love music and like it to sound good.
12 months ago I bought a Denon PMA-600NE and play mainly flac files of my cd's, and listen to DAB and internet radio from a Mitchell & Johnson WLD+211T through Q Acoustics 3020i's. I've been really happy with the sound quality. Around the same time I joined this forum and started taking an interest in the reviews and other members thoughts on music and what they play it on. This led me to You Tube, which I'd never bothered with before, and more reviews on hi-fi kit.
So, about 4 weeks ago I got an itch and scratched it with a Denon DRA-800H. I went with Denon as I had been happy with the 600 and an old AVR. I changed nothing else. After 7 days it was packed up and shipped back to the retailer. To me the sound was no better than playing stereo through the AVR, which is poor. Even the Mrs commented that it didn't sound good. So the 600 was slipped back into pole position. Perfect. I was back listening to complete albums again instead of playing a couple of tracks and then turning off.
Earlier this week I had the chance to buy an Audiolab 6000A second hand at a decent price. Popular amp, step up in quality, good reviews, why not? So I did. 4 days on I find myself thinking of unpacking my old friend PMA-600NE and restoring our relationship again. Whilst a vast improvement on the DRA-800H, I just feel something is missing with the Audiolab. Bass is definitely a little lite and I've found myself reaching for the non existent tone controls on more than one occasion. Sterile is a word that comes to mind. Some may think I should try it with 'these speakers' or 'that streamer', but I'm not after suggestions. My original set up gives me great pleasure and I think I've fought off the bug before I get full blown upgraditus,
 

gava

Active Member
Well done.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
It may well be simply that neither internet radio nor DAB are very good sources, and are not going to feed a better amp with anything with which it can strut its stuff.

And the 3020is are not really the speakers to show the benefits of a better amp.

However that’s merely an observation. As you’re happy why spend more?
 

gava

Active Member
Sometimes you just find a sweet spot combo of electronics, speakers, room and preferences.

I also had that with a set of QA 2020s and little Onkyo amp. Everything about the setup broke every rule in the book, but they sounded great and are still in place in what is now my ex-wife's living room.

You know it's working when you don't even think about the hifi anymore, you just enjoy the music or movie you are listening to.
 

DefDave

Active Member
It may well be simply that neither internet radio nor DAB are very good sources, and are not going to feed a better amp with anything with which it can strut its stuff.

And the 3020is are not really the speakers to show the benefits of a better amp.

However that’s merely an observation. As you’re happy why spend more?
That's more or less the conclusion I've come to.
I really like the sound of the QA's and agree that the Denon has probably taken them as far as they can go and the Audiolab might be a step too far. I have limited experience of better quality speakers, and as I said in original post, music is my interest, not what's playing it.
 

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