Recommendation for sound system set up

SpaceChild

Member
Hello High Fidelity lovers!
I’m new to this forum and I ‘m looking to set up a new stereo system (turntable, amplifier and speakers). After a first research I ‘ve already end up to some models but I need to get recommendations. So, first things first. To begin with, kindly excuse my rusty English. I ‘m Greek, I’ m not a native speaker. Also, before I start asking questions, I want to provide you some useful information.

General info:
- My budget is 2000eur in total.
- My living room is 40sqm and the front part is connected with another 15sqm small hall (so typically is 55sqm )
- My listening position will be 3m from each speaker and the distance between the two speakers will be 3m as well (equilateral triangle)
- My musical preferences are: 70% rock (progressive/hard) approx. from 1965 to 1989, 15% metal (heavy/power/thrash) approx. from 1980 to 2000 and 10% gypsy jazz and 5% folk music
- I don’t care about used items

Benchmarking:
After a deep search on the internet and long discussions with friends which have some knowledge in HiFi field I ‘ve end up to some conclusions.

Turntable (Dual cs 505-4 with Ortofon OM10 MM cartridge, approx. 720eur in my country)
During the past weeks, my first research drove me to 4 turntables:

1. Cheap – entry level solution
Numark NTX-1000 (approx. 328eur in my country)
Denon DP-400 (approx. 479eur in my country)
(according to this approach, I could buy an entry level turntable and save the rest of my money for buying an average pre-amp)
or
2. More expensive – intermediate solution
Thorens TD 402 DD (approx. 885eur in my country)
Rega Planar 3 (approx. 879eur in my country)


A friend of mine and also good sound engineer, told me that the majority of the modern turntables (even the famous Rega Planar 3) are suffering from acoustic feedback due to its poor materials and design. He suggested me two turntables which in his opinion are very good and solid: the Dual cs 505-4 with Ortofon OM10 MM cartridge (which is a belt drive) and the top quality Technics SL1200GR (which is a direct drive but way too expensive for me).

I like the design of the Dual cs 505-4 and I read some good reviews for it so probably I ‘ll go with that. The only problem that I see with this turntable is that I read that is discontinued. In my country there is still available in the stores and also Dual claims that they will support this model for another 20 years! To be honest I’ m worrying a little bit, mainly for the spare parts but at the same time I trust Dual because it’s a well known and trustworthy company...

Speakers (Dali Zensor 7, approx. 600eur in my country)
I really know that a pair of quality speakers is a serious investment and an important part of a HiFi at the same time. And, to be honest, I really want clear and neutral sound. Not necessary loud with heavy bass , but clear with layers and depth. I want to hear the organs almost separately and not as a blurry, one layer noisy thing. Taking into account the dimensions of my living room, my total budget and my musical preferences I ‘ve end up choosing the Dali Zensor 7. In this price range I think there are 100% VFM . Very powerful, with magnificent specs for the price. The problem here is that I read that those speakers are discontinued recently. But once again in my country there are still available in the stores.

Amplifier (Yamaha A-S701, approx. 500eur in my country)
Concerning the amplifier, I’ m close to the Yamaha A-S701. I found that this amp is also VFM and has a lot of power. Νevertheless the recommended Amplifier Power on Dali’s is 40 – 150W and the A-S701 high power output is 100W RMS. As I mentioned before, I don’t care about crazy high volume levels, but I don’t want my amp struggling to drive speakers. Also I’m not completely sure about the sound of A-S701. Is it fit to my musical preferences? I read that Marantz or Cambridge Audio amps are closer to classic, 1970’s, rock mood. But the average models of those amps, are poor in Watts and the Dali’s wants a lot of power in order to work properly. It looks like a controversial solution would be the Harman Kardon HK 3770 but I also heard that is discontinued. I’m really confused here...

Questions

Turntable

1. What is your opinion on Dual cs 505-4?
(I ‘m referring mainly to the owners of this turntable)

2. I know that Belt Drive turntables want some extra maintenance. Considering that Dual’s discontinued this model, you think it worths to pay 700+eur for this turntable?

3. Any other suggestion (max 850eur)?
(I want a solid construction, with decent materials for the price)

Speakers

1. What is your opinion on Dali Zensor 7?
(I ‘m referring mainly to the owners of those speakers)

2. Do you think that Dali’s are appropriate for 1970’s rock music?

3. Any other suggestion (max 600-650eur)?

Amplifier

1. As I mentioned before the recommended Amplifier Power on Dali’s is 40 – 150W and the A-S701 high power output is 100W RMS. Do you think is this a real problem? In a scale from 0 to 10 in which number do you believe this amp will be ok to drive those speakers?

2. Do you think that Yamaha A-S701 are appropriate for 1970’s rock music? If not could you suggest another amp with more classic rock characteristics and feel? (kindly remember that Dali’s need a lot of power in order to work correctly)

3. What about Harman Kardon HK 3770? Is it worth? Is it close to Yamaha’s quality levels? And the most important: is it suitable for classic rock music?

4. Any other suggestion (max 500-600eur)?

And 2 final, additional questions:
- With this set up, is a pre-amp necessary?
- With this set up, is a subwoofer necessary?

Thank you in advance for your time!
 
Last edited:

drummerman

Banned
Personally I think you are reading too much into it.

Keep it simple. As regards TT, imho buy a good cheap deck ie Rega RP1 or one of the ilk and get a decent cartridge (eventually). It will mostly determine the sound. Don't get too anal about it. Then wall mount the deck.

The quality of the vinyl (or mostly, lack of it) will have a far greater influence on sound than spending hundreds on a deck.

You'll need a phono stage..

My opinion only.

As to system, you seem to have some potential hotpot assembled there ... .

Personally, for two grand I'd get a pair of Kef's LX Wireless and be done with. No complications, powerful and great sound/functionality in one good looking package. Be happy, content and never come back here.

You can always add a sub later if you really wanted to but they can drive a large space easily as they did at the Bristol Hifi Show.

All in a bit over budget but perhaps worth waiting a few weeks for.
 
Last edited:

Jazzabana

Member
Well, couple of things that I want to warn you about.

- I recently changed my Yamaha a-s801 and its weakest link is its phono stage and if you are planning on listening to vinyl it will basically sound thin.

If you are not inheriting a vast collection of vinyls I am gonna suggest to put it on hold. You can majorly improve your hi-fi experience if you spend that money on amp and speakers.

But if you are insisting then you should also invest on a phono stage as mentioned above.

- I would recommend to get a streamer I am using wxad-10. It allows you to listen to lots of music for the least amount of money, you know.

- I changed my amp from 801 to 2100 and I can say that Yamaha amps sound natural, controlled and perfect (analytical rather than melodic) so you will be deciding on your systems color when you are choosing your speakers or other components.

I am turkish and our folk music are basically the same :). I don't think Yamaha is melodic enough to shine with our folk music. It would sound nice with gypsy, rock and metal though.

- I am using Dali Rubicon 2s as speakers and I am gonna recommend you to get your hands on a pair of kef Ls50s (assuming that you are after something more treble rather than bass) second hand or new.

- As I suggested above I would get a speaker, amp and a streamer and after a year or so I would decide on turntable, vinyl, cartridge, psu, belt, arm, vinyl cleaning products etc. (just to scare you off a bit from vinyl).

Enjoi.
 

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