New system help please

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by tallguy101, May 14, 2018.

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  1. tallguy101

    tallguy101
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    I have a limited amount of money to spend on a new audio system. I have been doing my homework and require the following;

    Turntable
    CD player, possibly SACD
    Streaming device with MQA capability for a Tidal (and others) subscription
    150 Watts or so stereo amplifier
    Floor standing loudspeakers

    My current system is a hotch potch Of stuff I have picked up gratis or for buttons. My budget is £3000. Not much but that’s it I’m afraid.

    This is what I am thinking of;

    Bluesound Node or Node 2 for the streamer
    Rega turntable - not too sure on model but they have a good reputation.
    B&W 684 S2 or 683 S2 loudspeakers

    I need some help please with suggestions for a CD player and also for an amp with enough inputs for the 3 sources. Also, are the 683 S2 worth the extra over the 684 S2 loudspeakers? The amp and CD player will ideally have an app for my iPad and iPhone but failing that IR remote will suffice. Another option would be a Bluesound Vault and scrap the CD player.

    Anything else I should consider or any suggestions for alternative kit?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Paul7777x

    Paul7777x
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    An idea of the size of your room would help a lot.
     
  3. tallguy101

    tallguy101
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    Sorry. 10m x 6m approx. This system is for listening to music only. Thanks.
     
  4. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    Scrap the turntable ! And spend the money you are saving on the turntable, cartridges and phono preamp on better speakers 3k is a substantial sum of money. Say 1k on each of the items CD player , streamer amplifer and speakers..
     
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  5. tallguy101

    tallguy101
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    Dumping the turntable isn’t going to happen I’m afraid. I have a decent collection of vinyl, some of it rare and I like listening to it. Yes I could digitise it but it doesn’t sound the same to me if you do that.
     
  6. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    Ok, but I would suggest it depends on how you digitise it,, if it were to 128k MP3 , I and the rest of the audio world would agree, if you digitise to FLAC at 24 bit 96k , which for vinyl is overkill, but digital storage is cheap, I don't think so. And if your records are indeed rare, as opposed to just hard to find, then you should consider using functional copies in order to preserve them.
    But it is of course your money your choice.
     
  7. tallguy101

    tallguy101
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    Very valid points you make. I will take this into consideration. Thanks
     
  8. Nat64

    Nat64
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    I think digitising records is a mammoth task . I play mine although have nothing ubber rare.

    To answer your original question. I get why you like SACD's and hence want a SACD player. They are far more expensive than normal ones. So, this is what I would buy.

    AMP Yamaha A-S100 £ 1149 superfi.
    Speakers KEF R500's £ 1200 with trade in offer.
    Streamer Yamaha N-Ps303 £ 239 superfi
    CD/SACD Player Yamaha CDS 1000 £399 Hyperfi.

    That all comes to £2987.

    Leaves little for a turn table, but a Rega 1 is £249 with cartridge.

    Total £3236.

    That will give you everything you want + all the streaming / connectivity you will ever want .
    That A-S100 amp is superb and has a top phono stage in it.

    If I have bust the budget badly then consider one of Yamaha receivers like the RN-803D at £569 instead . Does what it says on the tin.

    https://europe.yamaha.com/en/products/audio_visual/hifi_components/r-n803d/index.html#product-tabs

    I cannot recommend the top end Yamaha amplifier enough, have a look on this forum for A-S1100 / A-S2100 . Many of us have them and we are all very pleased.
    Likewise you have a big room. I am a huge fan of Kef and have the R500's myself. The only other suggestion I can make speaker wise is the Kef R700 black edition which are on sale at Superfi for £1400 which is an amazing deal but of course it adds to the budget.
    Its always easy to spend other peoples money !

    Hope it helps.
     
  9. Nat64

    Nat64
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  10. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    Yep digitising vinyl is tedious. It must be done in real time so a 40 minute album takes 42 minutes. The extra is getting up and changing the side .. , But of course one could spend that time also listening. , If one tried to do and label the individual . tracks , it would be mind numbing, but one does not listen to a LP other than by listening to a full side.

    But taking Nats suggestions on board, you will achieve a very good system for your target price, by scrapping the new turntable....., And you could get a DAC \ADC similar to the maplin for 40 quid to do the tedious digitising...
     
  11. dollag

    dollag
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    IMO you will be hard pressed to find a better system than the one listed above.

    The only thing I would really push for an audition would be the speakers.

    The R500's are amazing and for the price are hard to beat; however some people prefer other speakers, it really is personal taste, rather than one being better than the other.

    here are some others to consider

    Monitor Audio Gold GX300 Floorstanding Speakers - Gloss Black, absolutely mint | eBay

    MONITOR AUDIO GOLD GX 200 FLOORSTANDING HI-FI SPEAKERS - PRISTINE | eBay

    Monitor Audio Gold 200 Ebony Mint | eBay

    I know these are bookshelves but imo are a steal

    Dynaudio Contour S 1.4 LE Walnut Limited Edition Loudspeakers | eBay
     
  12. gibbsy

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    Do you have a collection of SACDs? If not then collecting them can attract some serious money. I've bought just six since getting an SACD player at an average of £25 per disc. Some of the ones I really want are at silly money, even used. I did buy a Marantz SA8005, not initially for the SACD but because of it's almost half price and the excellent onboard DAC. The higher tier Marantz CD players are superior to the 6006, however the 6006 is a cracking player in it's own right.

    Amps, there are so many good ones available then it can come down to personal taste and which speakers you decide on. I really preferred the way my Rega Elicit R, with 105 watts into 8 ohms, controlled my KEF R300s. It has plenty of analogue inputs as well as HT bypass to integrate into a home cinema set up. No remote on or off though.

    Speakers, the current price some are offering for the KEF R500s is hard to overlook as is the black edition R700s. If looking to get all components from one dealer I think it's safe to assume that there may be some really good offers to be had.
     
  13. Nat64

    Nat64
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    SACD's are expensive , but if you can find them at a sensible price they are the best quality you can get. I like them but won't pay through the nose for them.
     
  14. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Any sense of what it is you want from the System? Bass Heavy? Emphasis on Mid/High? Weight over clarity? Other?

    A room of 10m x 6m is a pretty fair sized room especially if the system can be placed on the narrow 6m wall.

    Then we have to set priorities. Though rarely does it work out like this in the end, here is how I typically break down a Stereo System -

    1x to 1.5x = Turntable (1.5x if a cartridge upgrade is needed)
    1x = Network Player
    1x = Media Player (CD/SACD/etc...)
    1x = Amp/Receiver
    2x = Speakers


    You appear to need everything so that is a total of 6x. We divide that into £3000, and we get £500/per 'X'. Then we have a break down like this -

    £500 to £750 = Turntable
    £500 = Network Player
    £500 = Media Player
    £500 = Amp/Receiver
    £1000 = Speakers (PAIR)
    --------------------------------
    £3000 = Total


    Now this simply lends perspective and gives you a starting point, once you start looking at equipment and setting your personal priorities, this is certain to change.

    So, using this, let me put together a system for you -

    Yamaha RN803 Network Receiver, 100w/ch, DAB/DAB+, Network Streaming, DAC, Bass Management, Room EQ, etc... - £570 -

    Yamaha R-N803D Silver Stereo Hi-Fi Receiver w/ MusicCast - Streaming / Networking - AudioVisual Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    Yamaha R-N803D Black Stereo Hi-Fi Receiver w/ MusicCast - Streaming / Networking - AudioVisual Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    Rega and Project Turntables are a pretty safe bet, and they both have nice models in your price range -

    Project Debut Carbon Esprit w/ 2M Red Cartridge - £450 -


    https://www.superfi.co.uk/p-11461-project-debut-carbon-esprit-sb-turntable.aspx

    In REGA turntables, I suggest you get models that have the Performance Pack which includes among other things, a cartridge upgrade -

    REGA Planar 3 Turntable - £580 -

    Rega Planar 3 Turntable + FREE Vinyl & Record Brush

    Yamaha doesn't seem to have much in the Middle Ground for CD Players, especially if you want SACD -

    Yamaha CD-S1000 CD Player - £875 -


    Yamaha CD-S1000 Black CD Player - CD Players - AudioVisual Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    Yamaha CD-S700 CD Player - £400 -


    Superfi - Experts in Hi-Fi, Home Cinema, TV & Multi-Room

    Then speakers, with the above prices, that leave you plenty for speakers, about £1450/pr.

    The B&W 683 are a good choice, the new S2 version is much improved. The bass is more controlled and the Mid/High are clearer than the older models. The B&W 684 are actually tiny speakers, and I would not consider those.

    Bowers-Wilkins 683 Floorstanding Speaker - £1150/pr -

    B&W 683 S2 Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

    Also, Kef Q750 Floorstanding - £1150/pr -

    KEF Q750 Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

    Monitor Audio Silver 300 Floorstanding - £1250/pr -

    Monitor Audio Silver 300 Speaker

    Tannoy Revolution XT8F Floorstanding - £1395/pr -

    Tannoy Revolution XT8F Speakers - Superfi

    Dali Opticon 6 Floorstanding - £1199/pr -


    Dali Opticon 6 Speakers - Superfi

    While typically shown in Black, most of the speakers are available in a variety of finishes.

    Here are some examples using the Monitor Audio Silver 300 -

    Monitor Audio Silver 300 Walnut Floorstanding Speaker (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    Monitor Audio Silver 300 Natural Oak Floorstanding Speaker (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    Monitor Audio Silver 300 Satin White Floorstanding Speaker (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    Monitor Audio Silver 300 Rosenut Floorstanding Speaker (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    Though no SACD, here is how the system would break down -

    £570/ea = Yamaha RN803 Network Receiver
    £580/ea = REGA Planar 3 Turntable
    £400/ea = Yamaha CD-S700 CD Player
    £1250/pr = Monitor Audio Silver 300 Speakers
    ---------------------------------
    £2800 - TOTAL


    The Ideal Disc Player would be something like the OPPO 203 or OPPO 205, which play all Audio and Video Discs (CD/SACD/BluRay, DVD,etc...), and have Analog (as well as digital outputs), but they tend to be expensive -

    OPPO UDP-203 Multi-Region Universal BluRay Player - Peter Tyson

    OPPO UDP-203 Universal BluRay Player - Peter Tyson

    OPPO UDP-205 Universal BluRay Player - Peter Tyson

    Ideally, the Oppo 205, but they are about £1400 each.

    The first in the List above is the Oppo 203 MULTI-REGION, meaning it will play Video Disc from pretty much anywhere in the world. You can save £100 if you don't need the Multi-Region feature.

    Generally one ALL Wire and Cable, most people spend less than 5% of the total system cost. That represents a good starting point. If we assume £2800 for the system listed above, that means you can budget about £140 for ALL Wire and Cable, though you are free to spend as much as you want.

    On the subject of Wire and Cable, we can advise you on that too. Generally get good Cable, but don't get carried away. Stick on the lower side of the Middle of the Pack.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  15. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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  16. Nat64

    Nat64
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    I have to say that I tried an Audio Technica AT-LP 120 USB ( in black )whilst my Technics MK6 was away being serviced and I didn't want to be without a turntable . I found it really good and it comes with a head shell and a cartridge. Plus you can open it up and disconnect the on board phono stage ( look on you tube how to do it its easy ) which makes a big difference as your amp will have a better one. I only sold it because I no longer needed it .
     
  17. tallguy101

    tallguy101
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    Wow. Lots of suggestions, thanks to everyone. I hadn’t considered Kef loudspeakers but now will. I need MQA audio capability which most of the streaming devices don’t seem to have so will probably stick with the Bluesound Node series unit. However it is very clear that Yamaha is well thought of in terms of amps and CD players, as is Marantz for the CD player. I’m sold on Rega for the turntable. I will now research the various options further and will no doubt be back for further advice. Thanks to everyone for your help.
     
  18. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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    If you definitely need MQA this site gives you a list of partners.

    MQA | Our partners

    Interesting the Nad C368 can have an added BluOS streamer which looks like it is MQA compatible, woukd fit your budget well at just over £1000 for the streamer and integrated amp. Note, although it is rated at 2x50w Nad are known for under rating their amps and have high sustained out put capabilities and therefore large power supplies I.e. they sound bigger than they look on paper.

    NAD C 368 Integrated Amplifier Pre-installed MDC DD-BluOS Module

    Review here talks about MQA playback on Tidal.

    NAD C368 Hybrid Digital DAC Amplifier Review - HomeTheaterHifi.com

    Maybe worth a look/listen.

    Sevenoaks also have a few ex display Arcam CDS27 universal players at £399, again looks interesting at that price.

    Arcam FMJ CDS27 (Black) CD Player / Music Streamer
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  19. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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    So to follow on -

    Amp - Nad C368 + BluOS module £1100
    NAD C368 Integrated Amplifier Review

    SACD - Ex demo Arcam CDS27 £400

    Turntable - Rega Planar 2 with RB220 arm and carbon cartridge £400

    Speakers - Kef Q750 on budget at around £1100 or bust the budget with the previously mentioned R700 black edition at £1400.
    As the Nad is a warmer sounding amp and so potentially are the Kefs make sure you audition.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  20. dollag

    dollag
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  21. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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  22. Nat64

    Nat64
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    I was going to say exactly that. Yamaha will stream everything available and I have listened to Tidal on both the bluesound and Yamaha and there was NO difference that I or the people who were demoing for me could hear . Tested through a Yamaha A-S2100 and Kef R700's black edition.
    Of course it is your money and your preference and I respect that.
    As you happen to ask , It is just my personal opinion but I wouldn't be selecting my Hifi purely on MQA.
    I would also add that most MQA devices available are portable , and onkyo/sony/pioneer make them . You can always get your Hifi and if you decide you really want / miss MQA you can then buy one of these devices and connect it up to your hifi system. The advantage of that would be you have your MQA music on the move as well.
    Just my thoughts and I agree with BlueWizard.
     
  23. Nat64

    Nat64
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    One last thought .........how much music is available on MQA ?
    I suspect the catalogue list is very small.
     
  24. dollag

    dollag
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    I believe it’s growing at an interesting rate.

    It’s still very early but if things keep going the way they are, I can see it becoming the standard for premium streaming services, hence the portable players all being able to decode mqa.

    I personally have been unable to tell the difference listening to tidal’s mqa vs their lossless catalogue.

    I was in a similar position about 6 months ago when I purchased my oppo sonica. I wanted to invest in a mqa capable dac/streamer but after listening to a couple and doing mqa comparisons. I didn’t bother. It closed too many doors just for a single format.
     
  25. Nat64

    Nat64
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    I 100% agree with that.
     
  26. tallguy101

    tallguy101
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    Many thanks for all the comments from everyone. This has been amazingly helpful in opening my eyes to many things I hadn’t considered. I must now ponder my options. Thanks again all.
     
  27. Julian Stevens

    Julian Stevens
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    For amplifiers, don't overlook Arcam. A venerable British brand that's been producing quality kit since the 70's. Can't go wrong.

    As for archiving vinyl to a digital medium, I find MiniDisc (don't laugh) entirely satisfactory. Blindfolded, I honestly don't think I could tell the difference from the original record. With a bit of fiddling around, you can give each track its own identity, meaning you can programme out any that you don't like. And pre-owned decks are as cheap as chips, my favourite being the Sony MDS-JE510. If the record/play mechanism packs up, you can buy another complete unit for just £50 or so via eBay. I use mine connected to my (Bryston) D:AC from its (optical) digital output, but it has an analogue output from its own D:AC which is surprisingly good.

    Then again, if you really want to keep your LP's absolutely analogue, have you considered reel to reel tape?

    I have only one LP transcribed to a CD-R and, to my ears, it sounds fine. But each to his own.
     
  28. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    Hi Julian, good comment about minidisk, but in truth the simplist way nowadays is to play the vinyl record via the soundcard line input of any laptop or computer, and if it were a Windows machine the free auducity software will do a fine job. The entire side will take 20 minutes and a few more minutes to finalise the file inside the computer. If you want to do it track by track, it is a little more fiddly, as you need to stop after each track and identify each one..
    Even poor quality soundcards will do an adaquate job at 16 bit 44k but the more expensive card or usb box and encoding at 24 bit 96k will make recording indistuishable from the vinyl. I refer to such a product below...
    The files can then be handled by all digital systems and devices MP3 players, hi Res , iTunes, etc etc ..
     
  29. Julian Stevens

    Julian Stevens
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    Another brand worth considering is Emotiva, most of whose range is now available via a UK retailer. The prices relative to the specs and features are extraordinarily modest, though they all seem to use switch-mode power supplies, of which you may be wary.
     
  30. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    Most vinyl sells at equivalent prices. The going rate for any vinyl is 25 to 35 euro. Whereas the same album in CD could well be 10 to 18 euro. By "same" i mean reissues of early Bob Dylan or Lenoard Cohen .. in CD they are listed as old stock and on Vinyl as new premium. ... Compendium albums in CD format might be 20 euro for up to five CDs.
    To pay vinyl prices for SACD s seems reasonable to me, although I have seen reference to Nordic sites where they are at CD prices.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018

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