Please critique my setup and recommend

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danb1979

Banned
Looks like some good gear there but the amp and CDP can be bettered IMO

What would be handy to know what music do you generally listen to and also why have you listed everything from Richer Sounds; are they the only hifi shop local to you?

IMO for speakers the Kefs are ok but dont rule out the Acoustic Energy AE Neo3's, Q Acoustic 2050's and possibly the Monitor Audio BR5's. Would you also consider standmount speakers or are you set on floorstanders?

As for the amp; the likes of the NAD C355BEE (about £249/£299 currently at Richer sounds but in silver only) is heads above the Denon but the NAD C326BEE, Rotel RA04SE and Audiolab 8000S amps should be considered too.

The CDP's I'd go for would be the Marantz CD6003, NAD C545BEE and the Audiolab 8000CDP. For 2nd hand (if youre interested in 2nd hand) the likes of the Arcam DiVA CD72/73 CDP's would be superb.

What makes you want to buy a sub as well and are you looking at the Kef 5.1 package to go with a seperate AV amp elsewhere or are you after a dedicated stereo hifi and a surround sound package for one room?
 

scorpion88

Novice Member
As for the amp; the likes of the NAD C355BEE (about £249/£299 currently at Richer sounds but in silver only) is heads above the Denon but the NAD C326BEE, Rotel RA04SE and Audiolab 8000S amps should be considered too.

The CDP's I'd go for would be the Marantz CD6003, NAD C545BEE and the Audiolab 8000CDP. For 2nd hand (if youre interested in 2nd hand) the likes of the Arcam DiVA CD72/73 CDP's would be superb.

What makes you want to buy a sub as well and are you looking at the Kef 5.1 package to go with a seperate AV amp elsewhere or are you after a dedicated stereo hifi and a surround sound package for one room?

A couple of observations. Why do you discoount Harman Kardon which IMO is as good if not better than Marantz/Nad.

i.e The HK 980 amp @ 80 watts per channel is superb @ circa £250.00

Likewise the HK CDP HD 980 @ circa £199.00 is equally brilliant.

Both these components to my ears are better than both Marantz and Nad IMO and I have heard them all.

Just a suggestion to add to your deliberations before you part with your hard earned money.

Also best to audition before buying if you can obviously.

All the Best

Scorpion
 

danb1979

Banned
For me and my tastes in music (and hearing) the HK gear is cack. Poor, lifeless and dull with a less than mediocre soundstage and uncomfortable mid/top end

But that's IMO. Each to their own ;)

What would be handy to know is would the OP look at 2nd hand gear. IMO for that level of budget you can get a lot more 'bang for your buck'. ;)
 

scorpion88

Novice Member
For me and my tastes in music (and hearing) the HK gear is cack. Poor, lifeless and dull with a less than mediocre soundstage and uncomfortable mid/top end

But that's IMO. Each to their own ;)

What would be handy to know is would the OP look at 2nd hand gear. IMO for that level of budget you can get a lot more 'bang for your buck'. ;)

That is very strong criticism, presumably you have auditioned HK gear as you say - I am sure you have otherwise you would not have used such strong words.

FWIW, I believe Marantz and Nad are vastly overated and outclassed for instance by Cambridge Audio for instance.

As you say each to their own but I would urge the OP to audition first before buying.

I like HK equipment and would even go as far to say with some music it beats my CA 640v2 which therefore means it outclasses the over-hyped Nad/Marantz units available and currently favoured by the WHF Rag.:rolleyes:

Just a few thoughts.

Scorpion
 

big rd

Active Member
having owned the cambrige audio 640 amp and the marantz 6002 i would have to say the marantz sounded better with my kef iq30 speakers.
saying that i think the 6002 sounded better with the kefs than than my cambrige audio 840 amp and the kefs did as well.so perhaps the marantz would be a better choice for your kefs aswell.
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
I think they are all good amps just each better in their own right with different types of music. Some maybe more similar than others in sound. I have not heard a HK and how it sounds with my music tastes remains to be seen, but all reports have been good. And for the price they are going for, you seem to get your money's worth. But again, this is down to individual music tastes.
 

danb1979

Banned
As abovereally.

Yes I've heard the HK gear a good few times and the same with C/A

Just cant get on with their sound at all; too light and clinical, cold sounding sometimes.

For my tastes in music the likes of NAD, Arcam and even Cyrus do VERY well.
 

scorpion88

Novice Member
saying that i think the 6002 sounded better with the kefs than than my cambrige audio 840 amp and the kefs did as well.so perhaps the marantz would be a better choice for your kefs aswell.

You must be having a laugh. The 6002 punches out 45 watts and the 840 120 watts per channel. The 840 is considered to be one of the best amps in it's class for the price and there is no comparison between the 2.

I suggest you and/or the OP invest in better speakers although the OP seems to be going down this road anyway.

Hope that helps.

Scorpion
 

scorpion88

Novice Member

scorpion88

Novice Member
As abovereally.

Yes I've heard the HK gear a good few times and the same with C/A

Just cant get on with their sound at all; too light and clinical, cold sounding sometimes.

For my tastes in music the likes of NAD, Arcam and even Cyrus do VERY well.

Good to here your opinion although methinks you may have been reading too much WHF particularly in your view of Cyrus which is underpowered and again overrerated and expensive. Arcam is a nice steady quality purchase and Nad is OK for the budget market but can be bettered by others such as CA and HK IMO.

Just my thoughts again.

I would urge the OP to audition carefully taking along his own favourite CD's before making any decisions.

Scorpion
 

danb1979

Banned
No worries

Nope; I've been a huge fan of the above mentioned for years fro my own experiences and tastes. My missus has the Cyrus 8vs 2, XPwower, 8SE CDP and B&W CM7 speakers and its a superb system (although she listens to a lot of motown etc...)

Its good that you have your own opinions but be careful of what you presume of others!

I'm not the only one who enjoys NAD, Arcam and Cyrus and not the only one who doesnt like HK and C/A gear...

Everyones got different hearing and musical tastes so it differs all the time.

Over the years I've spent thousands on hifi and av system.

I've currently just finished building an Arcam AV888 and P777 AV system along with the B&W XT8's, XT2's as rears and the XTC centre along with 2 PV1 subs!

I've spent months deliberating over systems and it took me a few months to buy the system in my sig for my hifi.

Demo'd all sorts of gear ranging from Neat to PMC to C/A to Primare to Nad to Arcam and beyond...
 

posterboy

Standard Member
Thanks guys, I am very open to your advice, it is evident you guys know your stuff.


So please, if wanted to spend £2000 on hifi systems, what would you get?

Thank you.
 

danb1979

Banned
For me personally I'd probably got for something along the likes of:

Rotel RA1520 . NAD C355BEE / Rega Brio 3 / Arcam FMJ A28 amp
Rega Apollo OR a 2nd hand Arcam CD192 CDP
Rega RS5 or Monitor Audio RX6 or if you can find them; 2nd hand PMC GB1's although the Neat Motive 2's shouldnt be ruled out :)

Thing is though at that price braket theres so many options of what to go for (i.e. integrated amp or a pre-power combo, different CDPs and a wide range of floorstanding or standmount speakers)

Really you could do to speak to local hifi shops anbd if theyre worth their salt theyll give you a good amount of options and also let you demo various set-ups :)
 

scorpion88

Novice Member
I would recommend the following:

HK 990 amp
HK 990 CDP
plus some decent £500 speakers.

(I attach the following link for information, yes I know Dan from WHF)

Harman Kardon unveils HK 990 amp and CD player - hi-fi - whathifi.com

In the end I just hope you go out and enjoy your auditioning and purchase the systen you prefer and ignore the friendly arguements on this thread.

I am sure Dan agrees.

All the Best

Scorpion
 

danb1979

Banned
Ah hell yeah Scorpian ;)

Thats what forums are all about but you MUST demo. Buying blind can be a very dangerous game and as I said above; decent hifi retailers (not Richer Sounds if you can help it) worth their salt will help you a lot :)
 

big rd

Active Member
very true scorpion 88.the 840 is a great amp ive got it wired up to my proac tablette eight signatures via the 840 cd player and it sounds fantastic.
what i was trying to say and didnt do a very good job of it was that the marantz amp worked very well with the kefs and both cambrige audio amps showed some the criticisms often mentioned around ca amps.they sounded a bit bright clinical ect.my proacs dont have this problem in the slightest.
in all other respects i do think the ca gear is much better for the money across the board than marantz but maybe not with kef speakers.
the best speakers for my old 640 i found where bowers and wilkins 602s3 and my dads mission 751s.the mate i sold the 640 to has it wired up to some 20odd year old celestion dittons not sure of the model but he is blown away by the sound of his record collection on it.
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
£2k - lovely budget

My list does not differ too much of what has already suggested

Amps

Marantz PM7003/8003
Nad C355
HK980
Rotel RA-06SE

Cdp
Marantz CD6003/ SA7003
HK980/990
CA 740c /840c

Speakers
AE Neo 3 ( if still available)
AE Aelite 3
MA RX6
Proac Studio 130

IC's
QED Performance Audio 1
Ecosse - The Composer or Best boy
Chord - Crimson

Speaker cable
QED Silver Anniversary or Silver Anniversary XT
 
Last edited:

S Bibby

Active Member
Hi PBoy,


Just FYI the IQ5 is an old model and Kef dealers now stock the IQ50 which has improved crossovers. You might want to try the speaker forum or some other sites for pricing and technical info from other users. Feedback on the Kef range varies at the mo but Hifi World rated the new IQs quite highly. As for the 1005, I think the 1005.3 is the current model and obviously it depends on whether you need surround speakers or not.

IMO you could get a front pair now (possibly without a centre) and the surrounds later. Basically you should aim for a consistent delivery and use the same brand for the stereo and centre.

Hope this is of some help,
Simon
 

scorpion88

Novice Member
very true scorpion 88.the 840 is a great amp ive got it wired up to my proac tablette eight signatures via the 840 cd player and it sounds fantastic.
what i was trying to say and didnt do a very good job of it was that the marantz amp worked very well with the kefs and both cambrige audio amps showed some the criticisms often mentioned around ca amps.they sounded a bit bright clinical ect.my proacs dont have this problem in the slightest.
in all other respects i do think the ca gear is much better for the money across the board than marantz but maybe not with kef speakers.
the best speakers for my old 640 i found where bowers and wilkins 602s3 and my dads mission 751s.the mate i sold the 640 to has it wired up to some 20odd year old celestion dittons not sure of the model but he is blown away by the sound of his record collection on it.

Fair point, the 840 is a fantastic amp when wired to the correct speakers. I also have the 640v2 and it provides tremondous sound with a pair of 8 year old Tannoy Mx2's similair to the current Tannoy F1's but about 33% bigger.

Fanatastic

Best Regards

Scopion
 

jlg1983

Active Member
You can add me to the list of anti Cambridge Audio/Harman Kardon. I have auditioned up to the 840A. and although good value, it didn't do anything for me at all. Far too harsh on my ears!

I then tried the NAD route (blind bought), they produce such sweet sounding, punchy amps.

I financially settled on a Marantz amp after a long audition, it more transparent and gives me the detail I crave, without being clinical (see CA etc.).

You have a fantastic budget there! Is there a reason you have chosen Richer Sounds over other hi fi shops? It's just that you limit yourself to certain brands, and RS have been questioned over their bias towards certain said brands.

The most important (and fun) part of your journey is the actual auditioning. To a degree, a void was created in my life after finally deciding on a settled system :rolleyes: I miss the listening/visiting the shopstage of building a system!

Enjoy mate.

Jason.
 

scorpion88

Novice Member
You can add me to the list of anti Cambridge Audio/Harman Kardon. I have auditioned up to the 840A. and although good value, it didn't do anything for me at all. Far too harsh on my ears!

I then tried the NAD route (blind bought), they produce such sweet sounding, punchy amps.

I financially settled on a Marantz amp after a long audition, it more transparent and gives me the detail I crave, without being clinical (see CA etc.).

You have a fantastic budget there! Is there a reason you have chosen Richer Sounds over other hi fi shops? It's just that you limit yourself to certain brands, and RS have been questioned over their bias towards certain said brands.

The most important (and fun) part of your journey is the actual auditioning. To a degree, a void was created in my life after finally deciding on a settled system :rolleyes: I miss the listening/visiting the shopstage of building a system!

Enjoy mate.

Jason.

Really, each to his own opinion. so in your opinion NAD produce such sweet, punchcy sounding amps.

You then "financially" bought a Marantz amp and discarded the NAD which sounded so good although it it did not trouble your ears.

This is the most incoherent post I have ever read.

You do not state what model Marantz was purchachased (I suspect the 6003) but the CA 840 is superior in every department.

Good Luck Mate

Scorpion
 

scorpion88

Novice Member
You can add me to the list of anti Cambridge Audio/Harman Kardon. I have auditioned up to the 840A. and although good value, it didn't do anything for me at all. Far too harsh on my ears!

I then tried the NAD route (blind bought), they produce such sweet sounding, punchy amps.

I financially settled on a Marantz amp after a long audition, it more transparent and gives me the detail I crave, without being clinical (see CA etc.).

You have a fantastic budget there! Is there a reason you have chosen Richer Sounds over other hi fi shops? It's just that you limit yourself to certain brands, and RS have been questioned over their bias towards certain said brands.

The most important (and fun) part of your journey is the actual auditioning. To a degree, a void was created in my life after finally deciding on a settled system :rolleyes: I miss the listening/visiting the shopstage of building a system!

Enjoy mate.

Jason.

Really, each to his own opinion. so in your opinion NAD produce such sweet, punchcy sounding amps.

You then "financially" bought a Marantz amp and discarded the NAD which sounded so good although it it did not trouble your ears.

This is the most incoherent post I have ever read.

You do not state what model Marantz was purchachased (I suspect the 6003) but the CA 840 is superior in every department.

Good Luck Mate

Scorpion
 
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