MF, Primare, Roksan, Quad or Naim?

stormfront

Standard Member
The time has come to upgrade my old MF E10 (I said it was old:) ), B&W 602.s3 based system... I can probably go to £3K - £4. My starting point would have been the MF A5's .... but there does not seem to be an A5 amp in Scotland (I am near Glasgow) and I will not buy without a demo.

So, over the last few weeks I have been listening to various systems and as yet don't have a clear winner.... I think part of the problem is that I still have this hankering to hear the A5's ... and wondering what is going to be announced in June (the countdown on their web site) is it a replacement for the A3.5 or the A5 or something else... does anyone know what is coming?

I am really out of touch with what is currently recognised as being good and as you will see below I have recently listened to Meridian, Linn, Quad, Roksan, and Primare .... and still want to listen to Naim and if possible the MF A5's... but are there others I should try at this price point or less :)

I listen to a wide gamut of music from early to classical, rock, acoustic, Jazz, electronic .. but do I like a snare drum to sound like a snare drum... a clear trebble, and a bass with punch at normal listening levels. I almost have this with my current system... but sound stage and bass are lacking.

So where do I go from here : do I travel down south to hear the A5's or am I on the right track with say the Primare or Quad or Naim or Roksan?

What other speakers should I consider? I settled on B&W's last time and would like to hear 700's... but what about Quad, PMC or Totem or ?

...and should I consider mixing CD and amps? Roksan Caspian CD with Primare I30 amp perhaps... and ofcourse I still need to hear the Naim kit :)

...the more I have listened and read, the more confused I am becoming ...

Story so far:

The comments below are an initial response to the very imperfect demos I have had...and as the dealers all had Spendors I generally used these to create a level playing field... but was that wrong?

what I have found is that dealers listening rooms are generally awful .... only the local Sevenoaks has a room that is setup to mimic a normal lounge .. the others tended to be very hard finishes or littered with other wall mounted equipment or equipment badly located... in fact I haven't mentioned the Denson /Rega demo as the room was a bit like a public toilet, so hardly surprising that it sounded overly bright...

Linn Majik amp/CD with B&W CN7's (Their Ninka's were out loan) - this was lifeless and shrill, much improved by changing the CN7's for Spendor S6's.. but still the worst sounding system so far.

then a shoot out between:

Primare I30/CD30 with B&W CN7's
Primare I30/CD30 with Spendor S6's
Primare I21/CD21 with Spendor S6's
Roksan Caspian AMP/CD with Spendor S6's

Again the CN7's were awful, I wanted to hear the 704's or 705's but again none available... but going back to the Spendors was a huge improvement.. and all three systems were good ... The Caspian system was warmer and relaxed sounding but perhaps just too laid back ... sound stage on both Primare systems was better although perhaps a little clinical ... with the I30/CD30's coming out on top... I think?

Then I listened to a Meridian G06 (I think) with DSP 5200's - at low levels no bass, at normal levels muddy middle and boomy bass and at higher levels starting to sound ok... but not impressed.

and finally a Quad 99/909 set up with and without the 99 pre amp - and again with Spendors S6's and also S9's. Imaging much better with the 99 pre amp. But in comparison to the Primare 30's ??? I would like to do a shoot out but they are at different dealers... and I know this is wrong, but I just don't like the look of the Quad's over fussy design... but the very first "amazing" system I ever heard (in the early 70's) was Quad and I have always wanted to be able to recreate that experience... so they are not ruled out...

I want to listen to the Naim NAC122/NAP150/CD5x .... and still there is that hankering for the MF A5's....

So after all this I am not much nearer a decission .... help

Sorry about the ramble :(

and thank you in advance... this is a great list

sf
 

grimep

Novice Member
Well, I recently did a shoot out in that budget area and range of makes, and it came down to a Primare intgegrated vs a Quad 99pre/909 power. With PMC speakers and using my favourite discs to test, the Quad pair had the edge. A Primare pre / power combo wouldve cost a fair bit more than the Quad I think, so in a way its not a fair comparison. However, having used the Primare integrated as a preamp to the Quad 909 I can say it sounded exceptionally clear and clean.
 

Helicon

Banned
I listen to a wide gamut of music from early to classical, rock, acoustic, Jazz, electronic .. but do I like a snare drum to sound like a snare drum... a clear trebble, and a bass with punch at normal listening levels. I almost have this with my current system... but sound stage and bass are lacking.
Obviously all these qualities are dependent on the listener, but i'm pretty much the same. I like a slightly raw edge to my music, so i don't mind a little brightness or harshness as it suits some music. And i have usually found the most open and detailed speakers tend to be brighter sounding ones.

What other speakers should I consider? I settled on B&W's last time and would like to hear 700's... but what about Quad, PMC or Totem or ?
I personally don't find anything of merit in the 700 series, they're hard to get them to sound decent, and when you do, there are better for the money. For me, Proac and Spendor are among the best i've heard at these price points. But one manufacturer i've heard recently that blew me away was Wilson Benesch. The Square One and Two loudspeakers are just so open and detailed, even compared to the Proac's. Very tight, very controlled.

and as the dealers all had Spendors I generally used these to create a level playing field... but was that wrong?
No, the Spendors are great speakers, you won't go far wrong with them.

what I have found is that dealers listening rooms are generally awful ....
At last, someone who can testify that dealers don't use treated rooms! I've always found that anything i've taken home sounds far better than in a dealers dem room.

and finally a Quad 99/909 set up with and without the 99 pre amp - and again with Spendors S6's and also S9's. Imaging much better with the 99 pre amp.
The Quad combination is great for the money. Hugely powerful with a nice soft edge allows you to turn the wick up a little without fatigue. Maybe a little soft with the Spendors, so i would think that Proac or Wilson Benesch wil liven the Quad up a little. The last time i compared a Quad system, it sounded great, until i put on the Naim combination you mention....

I want to listen to the Naim NAC122/NAP150/CD5x ....
Great sounding system, and with the Wilson's would be what i'd spend £5k on, no questions. Using the album Bleed Your Cedar by Elysian Fields, my usual dem material, i could hear so much more into the recording, i just felt this was as close as i'd ever got (apart from hearing a top Naim system with Dynaudio Temptation speakers). Her close mic'd sumptuous voice just sounded amazing. My only criticism is a slight lack of depth to the bass, but i think it's understandable given how transparent and detailed these speakers are. I'd be tempted to try the Square Ones with a sub if you really like deep powerful bass.

This is the system i'm aiming for if nothing else comes along and spoils it, which i very much doubt.
 

Knyght_byte

Novice Member
i'd make the effort to hear the MF A5.......like you i'm fussy about things such as snare drums sounding like snare drums etc, and in my demo of various amps from Arcam, Primare, MF, Roksan etc, i found the MF seemed the most capable of allowing the MA GR10 speakers of being precise......the Primare was the next closest.....

so even if it means a train ride, when your considering spending this much money, £20, £30 or whatever a ticket might cost is more than worth it to be sure...
 

Londondecca

Active Member
With any system a home demo is critical, most of the sound you hear come from the room and unless the demo room is identical in size, construction and furnishings you will get a completely different sound in your room.

Given your healthy budget, it should not be to hard to find a dealer who will come to you.
 

Scott_Mac

Distinguished Member
The Naim system you mention will be hugely improved with the Flatcap 2 powering both the pre amp and the CDP... the combo alone left me feeling a little "whelmed" the FC2 made the world of difference!

As for speakers, Dynaudio and Neat work very well but in different ways... i use Dynaudio personally and achieve stunning results.

In the market you're in you do have to listen to Naim, but working on the flipside to myself, i didn't enjoy the MF 3.5 sound, it felt a little lifeless... as such the Naim may seem a little bright to you?
 

RossFlet

Novice Member
Hang in there for the A5 - you won't be disappointed. The channel separation is excellent and it is incredibly crisp. Driving a pair of Dynaudio floorstanders, the sound is quite the best I've heard.:D
 

stormfront

Standard Member
Thank you all for the advice .. so far :)

I am hoping to do a shoot out tomorrow of Primare, Roksan, Naim, Rega and MF A3.5 (as they don't have the A5) probably with PMC and Proac speakers... and then later I will go back and listen to the Quad system again... and hopefully this will get me down to a smaller list of possibles ...

If you were to mix up Amp CD combinations, any thoughts on what would be worth trying ... say the Rega Saturn or Naim CD5x with the Primare I30?

... and thank you for the lead on the A5 I will be following that up today:)

I will let you know how it goes... and thanks again

SF
 

Knyght_byte

Novice Member
I'd recommend considering Arcam CD player with the MF A3.5 or A5 (heres a tip, the A5 has more or less the same kind of sound as the A3.5, a few minor improvements, but mostly the extra money gets you more power for better speakers, a built in phono stage and a larger case with better cooling ability)
 

Helicon

Banned
Listening to five different amps and a couple of different speakers, i find the best way to try things out is to initially compare two systems. Decide between the two which you prefer and ignore the other one. Then try the next system against the winner, and so on and so on. This way you're only comparing two at a time, and not trying to juggle the sound of five systems around your head which will just lead to confusion and wasted time going back and trying others again.

I was going to throw a late entry in of the Sugden A21, but i'll leave it.....you've got enough on your plate already! Please let us know how you get on with your initial shortlist, then more advice can be given based on that.
 

stormfront

Standard Member
Well, yesterdays auditions didn't exactly go as planned:(

At the first dealer: The room was quite small around 3m x 4m, though it was set up like a living room.

Compared the Primare I30/CD30 to Naim NAC122/NAP150/CD5x and then a Moon I5/Rega Saturn combo : all with Proac Response D15's and then the last two systems with Totem Hawk's which I did not like .. I think they are trying too hard to be "musical" and instead just soften the high end, and cause a muddle in the middle:)

...now this is where it gets difficult... with the Proac's, I actually like all three systems, but for different reasons. I liked the clarity of the Primare, the comparitive warmth of the Naim, and the Moon/Rega ... well it was as though a curtain was lifted between you and the band and now you could hear every tiny sound.... but which would I want to live with :confused:

Perhaps it would be the Primare's but with a slightly warmer speaker ... or the Naim with the Flatcap might make the difference .... and the Moon /Rega ... perhaps it is just too revealing for long listening .... and though the Rega sounds great.. that horrible top loading plasticy thing would need to be hidden.

The I went to the second dealer to hear the Quad 99/909 system again with Spendor S6e and S9's... this time the demo was suposed to be in their best listening room... which it was, but they hadn't removed the other Quad system so one side wall had two sets of Els, along the back wall were various other speakers and the other side wall was two continous shelfs with various bits of hifi kit... the only nod to a living room was the carpet on the floor and curtains on one wall .... but it was the wall behind the speakers. The room was also larger perhaps 6m x 6m.

How did the Quad/Spendors sound .. well I liked the "natural" slightly warm sound and the Tabla's on Lotus Feet (Remember Shakti) sounded amazing... but at times it was all a bit flat... and there was generally a very poor bass response, even with the S9's. I am blaming the room .. am I right, or is this others findings with a Quad /Spendor combo?

So where does this leave me ... going back again for another listen to the Primare/Naim/Moon but with Sonus Fabers... I would like to hear the W B Square 1 or 2's but haven't been able to track down locally ... and it appears that my original budget of around £3k has slowly been edged towards £5k ... and I must say I am wondering if I am going too far... but on the other hand, as I am over 50, this is probably my last chance to get a good system while my ears hold out:)

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated:)

Thanks again

SF
 

Helicon

Banned
I like many different speakers for different reasons, and depending on the electronics being used.

I like the D15's, the WB Square 2's, and the Spendor S8e's in that price range. But i also like the old Quad 63's, some Magnaplanar models, Celestion Kingstons, Kef Reference 4.2's, Epos ES11's, Naim SBL's, Kef Reference 104.2's etc, all for different reasons. Wish i could keep them all! But we have to choose one :(
 

Knyght_byte

Novice Member
if i was spending that kind of money on speakers, i'd hang around till MA's Platinums are out, shouldnt be too long now....heh....granted they go over the budget a fair bit more....but i'm praying they'll be happy on my A5, once i've got a job and some space on the cards i'm gonna be spending a lot of time down in swiss cottage again :D

to be honest, given you didnt come across a clear winner, i'd give it a week, then go back and do a different bunch of combinations....same equipment but hooked up differently etc......i knew i was on to a winner immediately with my setup, and whilst i still dont have the CD player, once i've got it im in relative heaven, and literally the only thing i'm interested in changing will be if the MA Plats are up to the job....otherwise im extremely happy with my GR10's and MF A5, its a perfect pairing and i knew it the moment i heard it.....i still did home demo to be sure, but i really didnt need to in this case.....so keep listening to stuff ;)
 

Londondecca

Active Member
... and it appears that my original budget of around £3k has slowly been edged towards £5k ... and I must say I am wondering if I am going too far... but on the other hand, as I am over 50, this is probably my last chance to get a good system while my ears hold out:)
I would take stock of the situation, if you can easily afford £5,000 then I suspect you will love what £8,000 will buy.

Some of the best systems I have ever heard cost well under your budget. It is to easy to spend large amounts of money and as with many things in life, there is always something better coming along or for a few Pounds more there will always be something which is said to be better.

One of the most stunning systems and by this I mean I became completely engrossed in the music and stopped thinking about HiFi was based around some Croft amps and a old pair of Quad ELS 63's. This system probably cost less than £2,000. I am not suggesting you try and listen to this combination but rather it is not necessary to spend all of your budget to get a really nice system
 

Scott_Mac

Distinguished Member
Compared the Primare I30/CD30 to Naim NAC122/NAP150/CD5x and then a Moon I5/Rega Saturn combo : all with Proac Response D15's and then the last two systems with Totem Hawk's which I did not like .. I think they are trying too hard to be "musical" and instead just soften the high end, and cause a muddle in the middle

...now this is where it gets difficult... with the Proac's, I actually like all three systems, but for different reasons. I liked the clarity of the Primare, the comparitive warmth of the Naim, and the Moon/Rega ... well it was as though a curtain was lifted between you and the band and now you could hear every tiny sound.... but which would I want to live with

Perhaps it would be the Primare's but with a slightly warmer speaker ... or the Naim with the Flatcap might make the difference .... and the Moon /Rega ... perhaps it is just too revealing for long listening .... and though the Rega sounds great.. that horrible top loading plasticy thing would need to be hidden.
Interesting reading... i would definitely add the FC to the Naim system, i was thoroughly underwhelmed with the above (and that was in comparison to my existing Naim setup) until i added the FC2 and everything suddenly stepped up to the plate.... though i have to agree on the Primare stuff it is rather lovely, maybe it's a good thing that you have nowhere to go from there though - you're at the top of the Primare ladder, but just getting started on the Naim one.... as i say not sure if that's good or bad though :D
 

stormfront

Standard Member
I would take stock of the situation, if you can easily afford £5,000 then I suspect you will love what £8,000 will buy.
Easily afford ... well no, I can't. I have a small windfall (95% of which is going to pay of mortgage and to the family) so I have a one off opportunity... but there are many other things that I could put this money to ... investing in an ISA, a new bathroom, a new Samsung 42 LCD tv (sorry it just slipped out)... or just taking the wife on holiday.

My ears say : satisfy me - go for it! Spend £5K... we're worth it :devil:

My heart says : do you really need a new hifi at all... :nono:

and my brain ..... well, it has me talking to this list ....::hiya:

I started off allowing myself £3K and I should probably at least try to stick to that... so on that basis where do I go from here???

Should I just stick with my existing B&W 602 s3's and spend the £3k on CD & Amp as above ... and hope to upgrade the speakers later...

or spend £1kish on each - which probably means Primare I21/Cd21 or Naim 5i...

or are there some other more interesting options ... any thoughts?

One of the most stunning systems and by this I mean I became completely engrossed in the music and stopped thinking about HiFi was based around some Croft amps and a old pair of Quad ELS 63's. This system probably cost less than £2,000. I am not suggesting you try and listen to this combination but rather it is not necessary to spend all of your budget to get a really nice system
So what would you do?

What about Densen, Sugden, Unison Research or Shanling or even Rega ... any thoughts or experience?

...and mentioning Rega ... I do have a load of vinyls that it would be nice to play and my PL12D will look a bit out of place so adding a Rega Planar 3 would be nice.... or are there other options these days?

One of the Glasgow dealers has Unison Research and Audio Analogue amps/Cds, and they have Theil and Zingali speakers ... so bearing in mind my recent demos ... are any of these worth considering?.... or I am i just going to make it even more difficult to make a decission...

and then I could just buy that second hand MF A5 or the go for the deal on the Moon i5 .... and then try an build something that works from there:confused:

many thanks for all the comments so far:smashin:

SF
 

Londondecca

Active Member
I have a softspot for Sudgen and Unison Research so I would recommend booking a demo. I cannot comment on the Shanling but feedback does seem to be good so give them a listen. I found this review of the Unison http://www.zerogain.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9459

The problem with recommending HiFi equipment is that it is similar to recommending a style of music or tea rather than coffee. Your ears and preferences are different to everyone else's.

There is also the choice of going down the 2nd hand route, for example emporiumhifi have a pair of Snell Type J's for £400, put these with some nice valve amps and they should really sing. But maybe this opens up to many other possibilities.

If it was my money, I would keep the budget to the original £3,000 but start listening to £2,000 systems which gives you a benchmark and the right mix of £2,000 worth of equipment will sound better than the wrong mix of a £10,000 system.

Whatever the outcome, once you have shortlisted the system a home demo is critical. My last proper HiFi system was a Rock turntable, Concordant pre, Quicksilver power and Spica speakers. I loved this system and it frequently made the hairs standup on the back of my neck but when I moved house and reinstalled it, the sound quality deteriorated dramatically. It did not sound terrible but the magic had gone: different acoustics- different sounds
 

stormfront

Standard Member
The search continues:)

having read the specs and a number of rave reviews on the Unison Research Unico amps and CD's I went for a listen armed with my usual "test" cd's. With both having a valve stage I assumed I was going to hear a more mellow, musical colouration... but that wasn't what happened.

So first up, was the new Unico Secondo 100w hybrid integrated amp (£995) paired with the Unico hybrid Cd (£1495) and some System Audio 1730 floorstanders (£695 .... the dealer was trying to get close to my £3k budget)...

I'm sure we all have certain tracks that you use to determine whether a system is worth listening to.... not necessarily favourite tracks, but ones that you know will highlite failings ... well mine are

1) Kids fears, on 4.5 by Indigo Girls: about 3mins in, it all starts to get complicated, 3 voices all singing against each other and over accoustic guitar.... sounds simple, but you would be surprised at how many systems fail right here... not being able to spacialy separate the voices and creating, for me, an unlistenable muddle...

2) Blown, on Sheath by LFO - this tests the ability to replay electronic bass and attack...

3) Unafraid to Linger, on Sheath by LFO - and if it gets through the above, now we see just how much air it can move...

4) various tracks on TNT by Tortoise - and then for the percussion test....

This system only made it to track 2... and the speakers actually started to rattle at normal listening levels.... but it was also way to bright...

Now again I need to point out that the room was not exactly helping... carpet and sofa, ok, but no curtains, high celing and another 4 pairs of speakers in the room...

So speakers were changed for a pair of £2k ATC's. Still sounding too bright, but at least now we got through the test tracks, there was space around the voices, bass and attack was there, and with track 3, I could feel the wind in my hair... so there was something I quite liked about what I was hearing, I think it was the detail... but there was also something missing in the middle... and there was an electronic edge, a sort of buzz, to some voices and instruments that I began to find annoying... and so we changed the speakers again this time to Opera Quinta's (£1995), these are nice looking speakers.... and now we were starting to get closer... a bit warmer, fuller, but still with the same detail...

At this point, the CD was changed to a Consonance L120 (£995) in attempt to get closer to the original budget ... and amazingly now the soundstage really opened up and imaging was vastly improved...but the sound was thinner... and this is where for me the big surprise happened... we changed the interconnects and the speaker cables to a different make and it all started to jell... and then we changed back to the Unico CD.... and it was a different system again, much improved... but there was still that little edge to the sound that was really bugging me.... so I left for the day... and then received a call from the dealer... he hadn't been happy with how the system was sounding either and wondered if could drop in the following day... as I had left one of my cd's... and he had tweaked things and thought it sounded better... so I said yes...

What had he done? ...changed the Unico Hybrid amp for the newish Unison Research Preludio valve amp and the CD was now the Consonance CD2.2 Linear.... and wow this was now an amazing system... it flew through the test Cd's ... and I was really surprised ... this was a 14w valve amp and yet it was rocking with the best of them... with real attack, amazing bass and percussion was so detailed and sweet... so much space and really forward with it. I fed it some Dreamweaver and it ate it up... John Petruccui's guitar sounding amazing... then track 6, Praise, on David Sylvian's Camphor... and Shree Maa's voice was almost a physical thing, hanging in space, and she was there with me... and then it was Jan Garbarek's turn... I put on Officium and almost straight away thought there was something wrong... there was all these "shhh"noises ... it was Jan's breathing and it was really quite intrusive ... and of course it was the same with Nils Petter Molvar, who is breathy on any system, but it here it was perhpas just too much.... so we swopped back in the Unico CD and then played about with interconnects again... but that amazing soundstage was gone, that feeling of really being in the same room where the music was being made.... and I missed that :(

So where has this got me? .... well still as far from my £3k system as before, but now I have started to get a new sound in my head...

I really like the Preludio and it looks good too ... but at £1795 it is a huge chunk of the budget.... so I was wondering how to try and keep this sound but reduce the cost...

1) what about Sonus Faber Concerto Domus these are 4ohm speakers and around £300 less than the Opera's and look even nicer ... has anyone done a comparison or have other alternatives that might work?

2) Now I liked the openess of both the Consonance CD's, but to be honest didn't really like the styling .. the nicest thing is the remote:) ... so what about the Lector 0.6, this is simple, and gets some great reviews - but how does it compare to the Consonance? again anyone got any thoughts or alternatives?

thank you for listening:thumbsup:

regards

sf
 

matt303

Novice Member
I think I've taken LFO CDs to every demo I've had, more usually I take "Frequencies" as a good test for how rhythmic things are handling bass :D

Good luck with your search, at least going for demos is fun :)
 

phil t

Well-known Member
The time has come to upgrade my old MF E10 (I said it was old:) ), B&W 602.s3 based system... I can probably go to £3K - £4. My starting point would have been the MF A5's .... but there does not seem to be an A5 amp in Scotland (I am near Glasgow) and I will not buy without a demo.

So, over the last few weeks I have been listening to various systems and as yet don't have a clear winner.... I think part of the problem is that I still have this hankering to hear the A5's ... and wondering what is going to be announced in June (the countdown on their web site) is it a replacement for the A3.5 or the A5 or something else... does anyone know what is coming?

I am really out of touch with what is currently recognised as being good and as you will see below I have recently listened to Meridian, Linn, Quad, Roksan, and Primare .... and still want to listen to Naim and if possible the MF A5's... but are there others I should try at this price point or less :)

I listen to a wide gamut of music from early to classical, rock, acoustic, Jazz, electronic .. but do I like a snare drum to sound like a snare drum... a clear trebble, and a bass with punch at normal listening levels. I almost have this with my current system... but sound stage and bass are lacking.

So where do I go from here : do I travel down south to hear the A5's or am I on the right track with say the Primare or Quad or Naim or Roksan?

What other speakers should I consider? I settled on B&W's last time and would like to hear 700's... but what about Quad, PMC or Totem or ?

...and should I consider mixing CD and amps? Roksan Caspian CD with Primare I30 amp perhaps... and ofcourse I still need to hear the Naim kit :)

...the more I have listened and read, the more confused I am becoming ...

Story so far:

The comments below are an initial response to the very imperfect demos I have had...and as the dealers all had Spendors I generally used these to create a level playing field... but was that wrong?

what I have found is that dealers listening rooms are generally awful .... only the local Sevenoaks has a room that is setup to mimic a normal lounge .. the others tended to be very hard finishes or littered with other wall mounted equipment or equipment badly located... in fact I haven't mentioned the Denson /Rega demo as the room was a bit like a public toilet, so hardly surprising that it sounded overly bright...

Linn Majik amp/CD with B&W CN7's (Their Ninka's were out loan) - this was lifeless and shrill, much improved by changing the CN7's for Spendor S6's.. but still the worst sounding system so far.

then a shoot out between:

Primare I30/CD30 with B&W CN7's
Primare I30/CD30 with Spendor S6's
Primare I21/CD21 with Spendor S6's
Roksan Caspian AMP/CD with Spendor S6's

Again the CN7's were awful, I wanted to hear the 704's or 705's but again none available... but going back to the Spendors was a huge improvement.. and all three systems were good ... The Caspian system was warmer and relaxed sounding but perhaps just too laid back ... sound stage on both Primare systems was better although perhaps a little clinical ... with the I30/CD30's coming out on top... I think?

Then I listened to a Meridian G06 (I think) with DSP 5200's - at low levels no bass, at normal levels muddy middle and boomy bass and at higher levels starting to sound ok... but not impressed.

and finally a Quad 99/909 set up with and without the 99 pre amp - and again with Spendors S6's and also S9's. Imaging much better with the 99 pre amp. But in comparison to the Primare 30's ??? I would like to do a shoot out but they are at different dealers... and I know this is wrong, but I just don't like the look of the Quad's over fussy design... but the very first "amazing" system I ever heard (in the early 70's) was Quad and I have always wanted to be able to recreate that experience... so they are not ruled out...

I want to listen to the Naim NAC122/NAP150/CD5x .... and still there is that hankering for the MF A5's....

So after all this I am not much nearer a decission .... help

Sorry about the ramble :(

and thank you in advance... this is a great list

sf
Try Loud and Clear (Glasgow) to audition an MF A5, that's where I got mine from. The A5 is, in my opinion, far better than the I30.
 

Arcam_boy

Distinguished Member
it sounds like your ater a hell of a lot for your money. my b&w 805s (£1600) and MF A5 amp (£1500) already blow your budget without a cd player and I shouldn't think they'l even meet all your needs :confused:
 

gazza73

Novice Member
it sounds like your ater a hell of a lot for your money. my b&w 805s (£1600) and MF A5 amp (£1500) already blow your budget without a cd player and I shouldn't think they'l even meet all your needs :confused:
I'm sorry but these are my feelings also. With your ultra critical ear, I think you'll find problems in any system in your £3K budget.

My pre/power amp alone will blow your budget and I hear things in my system with certain types of music that I wish it did differently. If a system does 99% of what you want it to then thats pretty good as that extra 1% can cost one hell of a lot of money.

IMO if you spend £3K on each individual component you'll still find fault but possibly a little nearer to the sound your after. I would recommend listening to a system at around half your budget and see the difference. Maybe one that will not expose all the problems you hear and gloss over tham a little.
 

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