Next Upgrade

NM20

Well-known Member
I am using my Arcam A18 a lot more now, it is in a 5m x 6m room (picture included) powering a pair of Tannoy DC6tSE speakers. I fancy my next upgrade and am looking at replaing the amp and then maybe the speakers.

For the amp I am thinking of one of the following:

Arcam SR250
Roksan K3
Cambridge Audio CXA81

However, happy to have other suggestions thrown at me. I like listening to RnB, Grunge / Metal, Hip-Hop, and DnB and my wife prefers listening to more laid back music.

I also intend to swap the speakers and may go for the Arendal 1723 floorstanding speakers, I like the pace and bass response of the 1723s I have in my cinema setup. However, I am again open to suggestions.

I am thinking about £1k for the amp and c. £2k for the speakers.
 

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password1

Distinguished Member
Assuming new and you want floorstanders, I would shortlist the following:

Rega Elex or Elicit R

Arcam sa20

Mission zx series

Dali Opticon mark 2

I would probably avoid sticking the speakers too close to the corners though.
 

NM20

Well-known Member
Thanks. Would you ignore the other amps I have shortlisted?

I doubt my wife would be too happy if I moved the speakers out much further. They have about 20cm space around them.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
I wouldn't ignore them. I was just giving ideas of other amps to consider.

If positioning is an issue then the Dali speakers might be easier because they don't require any toe in and are designed to work as close as 8 inches.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
The SR250 is a top glass DiracLive enables amplifier.

And the bargain of the moment for amps.

A big upgrade on the 18 even without Dirac.

Have a scan of this review here. Reviewed at £2500.

 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
The Dirac room correction will also take care of the corner positioning.
 

NM20

Well-known Member
The Dirac room correction will also take care of the corner positioning.

It does look tempting. It would be great to hear one against a few others to test the sound. Maybe a trip to Richer Sounds is needed….
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
It does look tempting. It would be great to hear one against a few others to test the sound. Maybe a trip to Richer Sounds is needed….

It is certainly worth an investigation.

It may be that you can borrow one to test at home...?

Personally, I’ll never have a hifi without room correction again.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
The sr250 looks great value for money with the hybrid class g and built in dirac live.

I considered it but it's a huge heavy unit and needs plenty of ventilation as it can produce a lot of heat. If you don't have the space the sa30 should be good (at least on paper) as it's also similar amp technical with built in dirac live. Cheapest Ive seen the sa30 is around £1350 open box/clearance.
 

NM20

Well-known Member
Thanks both.

I will see if Richer Sounds will lend me one. i thought the SA20 had lots of issues. In the end this is a pure stereo setup, there will be no TV in the room (we have enough in other rooms), so won’t the extra features be a waste and my money should go more towards a pure hifi amp?
 

password1

Distinguished Member
Even if you don't use all the extra features, the sr250 looks a bargain for what you're getting but yeah all the extra features and sockets takes up a lot more space than a pure stereo amp.

I personally wouldn't worry too much about any problems with the sa20 if you're buying new with warranty. I would ask if they can do any deal with the extended warranty.
 

NM20

Well-known Member
Demo booked for Saturday. Let’s hope I like one fo them….
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If you want something with a controlled 'excitement' and a pure analogue amp then consider the Rega Elicit-R. It's very capable with terrific bass control and musical and fluent mids and hights. Only drawback for me was it's lack of headphone circuit which resulted in having to buy a standalone headphone amp.
 

NM20

Well-known Member
Looks great - but a bit outside my budget.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Thanks both.

I will see if Richer Sounds will lend me one. i thought the SA20 had lots of issues. In the end this is a pure stereo setup, there will be no TV in the room (we have enough in other rooms), so won’t the extra features be a waste and my money should go more towards a pure hifi amp?

The extra features aren’t a waste; they are merely unused. No biggie.

The Dirac is worth the price alone. And so is the amp without Dirac.

It is a potent amp, with plenty of current to drive just about anything, and remember that it was originally a £2500 amp that was lauded at that price.

For a mere grand (comparatively) it’s a silly bargain.
 

NM20

Well-known Member
They are and here’s the one round about your budget :


Thanks for the heads up.

I have now seen a couple of Arcam A39 amps going for around £500 on eBay and wonder if that is a good bargain and step up from my A18.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the heads up.

I have now seen a couple of Arcam A39 amps going for around £500 on eBay and wonder if that is a good bargain and step up from my A18.
it should be but it's a lot of money for second hand and no warranty. For not much more there is plenty of decent choice brand new. eg Rega Brio, Cyrus One.
 

NM20

Well-known Member
it should be but it's a lot of money for second hand and no warranty. For not much more there is plenty of decent choice brand new. eg Rega Brio, Cyrus One.
Fair point. I was considering second hand if I went for the Roksan, I’d rather spend £800 instead of £1200.
 

craig808

Well-known Member
Just one thing to note with regard to the booked demo. I'm presuming that this is at RS's store?

I've no idea which store your going to but keep in mind that their demo room will most likely be designed to be be acoustically sound and offer optimal performance. Soft furnishings, little to no hard surfaces, acoustic panels etc etc. Your room at home will most likely sound different.

If you can get a home demo that would be much better. You can spend as much time as you want playing about with settings, going through all your albums, no pressure and most importantly listening to your own room rather than theirs.

Enjoy your demo and I hope you get what you are looking for.
 

NM20

Well-known Member
Just one thing to note with regard to the booked demo. I'm presuming that this is at RS's store?

I've no idea which store your going to but keep in mind that their demo room will most likely be designed to be be acoustically sound and offer optimal performance. Soft furnishings, little to no hard surfaces, acoustic panels etc etc. Your room at home will most likely sound different.

If you can get a home demo that would be much better. You can spend as much time as you want playing about with settings, going through all your albums, no pressure and most importantly listening to your own room rather than theirs.

Enjoy your demo and I hope you get what you are looking for.
Thanks for the advice, yes it is at an RS store.

I will see what they say about a home trial.
 

craig808

Well-known Member
Thanks for the advice, yes it is at an RS store.

I will see what they say about a home trial.

Generally you have to pay for the item but they allow you to take it back for a full refund if it's not to your liking. There's many on here including myself who've done that.
 

NM20

Well-known Member
I had the demo. Firstly the Roksan, attached to Q Acoustics 3050. However, it was quickly apparent the speakers weren't up to the job, so I asked for some MA Silver 300.

I like the Roksan, but didn't think it was a huge step up over my current Arcam A19. I then tried the Arcam SR250, vocals were much clearer, but the low end maybe wasn't as pronounced as the Roksan.

I can get the Arcam for around £750, which is a bit of a steal. If I can sell my Arcam A19 for around £200, It seems like a reasonable upgrade for £500.
 

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