Bargain New level of listening

Paul Macpherson

Novice Member
Well here I am locked down and thinking how can I pass the time away, well I have never posted anything on any forum or review site but felt it's time to share with you all my view on the HifI world.

I have always been interested on finding that perfect sound and with a small budget this has always been a struggle, I know I have a good ear for what is a good sound although the years have given my ears a bit of a bashing and probably don't function as they should but I still look for improving things when it comes to being in my 'happy place' I have defiantly had a few stereo systems over the years from plugging in a set of Kenwood speakers to my Walkman headphone output to my latest B&W and Denon set-up.

One thing I know I'm good at and that is striking a bargain and whatever budget I have had to play with I have always walked away with something better than what I have had to spend, this brings me onto my latest outcome which when playing around with a music rabbit hole on YouTube I have achieved those hairs on my arm to sit up and pay attention, firstly let me explain my restrictions...I am a perfectionist and suffer a little OCD meaning when I look at my system it needs to look the part and the tape measure plays a big part in that and things like wires and plugs need to be hidden, I live in a coach house which also gives me the ability to use in-ceiling speakers rather than having speakers sat on my shoulder and this is where I picked up a pair of custom install Monitor Audio C165 in ceiling speakers which have recently been married up with another pair of Monitor Audio C265 speakers to take on the job of filling the ATMOS task, all 4 speakers were picked up brand new on the net for under £500.

The next and very long process was reading reviews and visiting RS and Audio T to eventually settle on a pair of B&W 603 floor sounding speakers which resulted in taking away the 600 series centre speaker as part of the deal costing me £1250 for both main and centre speakers, then I moved onto the AV which was going to control everything and having always been a Pioneer lover I changed over to a Denon AV amp about 2 years ago and have been more than happy so this was a simple upgrade when I managed to pick up a Denon AVRX 3600 for a few £££ under £600 and then this brings me onto the search for the best Sub for my budget of £800 and having listened to the SVS 2000, REL T7i and the KEF T2 I was struggling to decide what to do for the budget and this is where You Tube got a battering and yet in the corner of my eye the REL T9i kept popping it’s head up but my budget was struggling until with a few conversations between a number of suppliers I managed to pick up a brand new REL T9i for £780 which completed my latest venture.

The Sound? well this is easy to describe, when listening to music through a 2 channel setup the 603’s and the REL felt like they had gone out an got married and can back to give me lots of babies because the smile on my face is taking some time to wipe off even with the REL making every effort to push my skin to the back of the room, now I know may people will say I should have looked at a few other systems but I was once told by a very wise man if you love the sound then don’t look back and thanks to the engineers at B&W and REL this is most defiantly the case, clear responsive and base with an uplifting midrange being achieved by the B&W 600 speakers, and when it comes to surround sound watching ‘OZARK’ has been a mind-blowing experience.

Now this brings me back to the budget and when thinking of what value I put on achieving that sound that feels like I have spent my money wisely it’s simple, when you buy a car and park it in town and walk to the shops, if you look back at your car then you know you feel proud to own what you have and this is the same for my current set-up, I look at the system as much as I listen to it and that is what matters looking at the sub wobble as an explosion erupts and the rear speakers when the background music to OZARK is playing Glen Campbell while Ruth is kicking some Red Neck between the legs.

I hope this helps anyone thinking of their new venture and feel free to comment.


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Some good bargains there, especially the REL. Indulge me. Bring that centre speaker forward so that it is sitting around 25mm proud of the front edge of the cabinet. Get rid of those unwanted reflections off the cabinet top.


Distinguished Member
The main speakers 603 should also sound much better if you can push them forward! 50cm from wall is what B&W recommends for both front and side walls, but you do what you can!

Paul Macpherson

Novice Member
Some good bargains there, especially the REL. Indulge me. Bring that centre speaker forward so that it is sitting around 25mm proud of the front edge of the cabinet. Get rid of those unwanted reflections off the cabinet top.
I have moved the centre speaker forward a bit thanks for the tip

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