Serious downgrade - can you adapt

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by stevos, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. stevos

    stevos
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    The further up the hifi tree I go the more I look down on poor hifi's and dislike the sound.

    My hifi has however got a little bit stupid and i am seriously thinking of doing a major downgrade.

    From experience speakers are the most important part of a hifi and they will be first to go. Current setup b&w 805's plus b&w matching centre.

    What i was thinking about was switching to say the b&w mt30 speaker to save money / sanity (i.e. to stop any further upgrades).

    I realise the drop in sound will be major in the short term, especially if i also sell my cyrus power amps and just rely on my denon 3805 av amp. However in the long term will my ears adjust and become content with the sound?

    I suspect i could raise around £3k from my system maybe more which is always nice to have in the bank.

    p.s. full current system

    b&w 805 x2
    b&w htm2
    Mission m7ds x4
    Cyrus smartpower x 3
    Cyrus pre-x
    Denon 3805
    Denon 2800mk2
    Cyrus Disc/Dac Masters + PSX-r
    Squeezebox + NAS (Flac files)
    Xbox360 + HDDVD drive

    I also have some Monitor Audio GR60s, GR10s and GRc turning up this week to replace my current speaker setup. Long story but the b&w centre was meant to match another pair of 805's to make a 5.1 setup but the 805's fell through and my current 805's are slightly damaged.

    I think i may well have lost the hifi plot, completely :oops: .

    What are your thoughts?

    p.s. stereo is probably more important to me than av.
     
  2. Nobber22

    Nobber22
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    I don't have a high-end setup like yours - although with all the different components in there, I don't know which are helping and which are hindering your sound :D - but my ears definately grate when I hear someone else's crap sounding kit, be it a cheap micro or the screeching Technics1210/Denon/Gale cluster-fudge we were subjected to on New Years Eve. :rolleyes:

    Getting home again and putting on a film and some tunes on my own kit was heaven again. :thumbsup:

    Long term I suspect you may still hanker for the sweet sounds you used to own and still judge everything played through the new kit against the old. :(
     
  3. RichardG73

    RichardG73
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    I suspect the downgrade in music would be significant. I've just ordered the MT30 system which I thought was excellent and for movies not far removed from my current B&W 600 series set-up. But system only used for movies - I wouldn't have ordered it had music been my priority.
     
  4. John7

    John7
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    Your post puzzles me.

    You sound like you are struggling with your conscience - why would downgrading your kit stop you wanting to upgrade again in the future?

    Seems like a complete waste of time to me, unless you need to release some funding quickly. I can assure you that you will not be happy when you downgrade. In your first sentance you answer your own question.

    You start off by saying you wish to downgrade your kit, and by the end of the post you have already upgraded all the speakers!

    Rather than constantly upgrading, why not resign yourself to stick with what you have? Downgrading is not really the answer and is not going to satisfy you long-term. If you can affor to do it though, why not??

    I know the feeling though - I'm always looking to upgrade my kit but I just can't afford to do it as frequently as I'd like!
     
  5. stevos

    stevos
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    All good points.

    The downgrade has nothing really to do with money as i don't particularly need it at the moment but more about trying to stop this crazy circle and maybe having a much smaller setup especially when you consider how much a month it actually costs to run and thats just on standby!!!!.
     
  6. ssuellid

    ssuellid
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    Why not just plug the speaker cables back into the Denon and find out that way? - if you can live with it and how long it takes.
     
  7. stevos

    stevos
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    Good idea in theory, but i would crack in minutes if it wasn't forced opon me (ala it being sold)
     
  8. John7

    John7
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    Thing is though, once you have experienced music through a decent Hi-Fi setup, it is very difficult to truly enjoy and be satisfied with a lesser quality system - that is what the upgrade process is all about, striving to achieve perfection.

    Your problem is now that you have upgraded your speakers to the GS series, you will probably need to upgrade source/amp to do them justice. Your theory about speakers being the most important part of the link is slightly flawed - the speakers are at the end of the chain and are onle ever going to be as good as the quality of the electronics being used to drive them.
     
  9. stevos

    stevos
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    Okay true but as a £ per improvement measurement speakers really jump out whilst i have found source/amp need big investments to provide only a small improvement.

    I do believe my current cdp is one of the best around (not that i can be brought any more). I have compared it to come serious rivals and to be honest it held its own.

    Improvements in my amps could help but to be honest 2x smarts running in mono should be more than enough for most speakers including the gr60's. Okay spending more will improve things but not sure i could afford the level of finance requied and then we go around the merry-go-around again, damn.

    I was kind of hopeing someone had suceeded in moving back to a more basic system.
     
  10. lazymatt

    lazymatt
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    I think with the system you've got, you're not going to be happy with a lesser system.

    Most of us take years to amass the kind of kit you've got. And I'm sure it's been a fairly long upgrade path for you to get were you are today aswell.

    As you've already said you don't need the money, and I'm sure you've already invested a lot of time and cash in it, I would just enjoy it. I think you'll be kicking yourself if you downgrade.
     
  11. John7

    John7
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    Agree - I originally downgraded from a Naim/Linn/Epos system when home cinema kit became available. It was all about compromise though - I wanted decent stereo and also surround sound but did not have the space (or finance) for two dedicated systems, so I downgraded to surround kit. I still miss the quality of the Naim kit but I don't often listen to music much these days (wife prefers watching films/kids and cartoon network etc) and the surround kit I have now is resonably satisfying for movies with the occaisional CD/SACD (must upgrade my speakers again soon!)
     
  12. stevos

    stevos
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    I guess the conclusion is 'no you can't'.
     
  13. Thekop

    Thekop
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    I was in a similar situation to John7.. I downgraded a few years ago from a Voyd/Audio Innovation/Snell system to an all singing all dancing AV set up and so regretted it afterwards.. No matter what AV set I owned or heard, or demo'ed it was never the same again, with music replay... After eating humble pie i went back to a dedicated Hi-Fi system.. It's got to the point now where I'm going to downgrade most of my AV set up instead and concentrating all my future funds to music replay.. I personally wouldn't do it stevos ;)
     
  14. Ceejayav

    Ceejayav
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    Don't do it.

    I have an MT-20 set (same speakers, different sub) and while they are fine for movies they are not up to scratch for listening to stereo music. It will sound like you are listening to an ipod plugged into a boombox....
     
  15. wolfgang

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    Seems like you are very close to waking up and taste the Matrix like reality yourself. If you are really serious you need to to try to forget everything thing you have come to accept what you have read in hifi magazines.

    Then listen to all your expensive toys again but only this time do it blind with the help of a friend. I am sure you'll find you could throw out more then half of the things in your list above.
     
  16. stevos

    stevos
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    Already tried and failed. For example without the smartpowers the 805's seriously lack base and sound sluggish, which was the reason i brought them. One doesn't make a huge difference but the second one was a huge improvement over just using the denon. Also using the denon only the extremes (bass / treble) take over everything and you lose details. The better the speakers the more they show up weaknesses in the rest of your system.

    The problem is that you can't have decent speakers without a decent amp powering them and you no point having decent speakers/amp without a decent source.

    The only thing that could be sold without effecting then sound would be the cd transport as i don't use it any more, but as its nice having around just in case someone brings a cd around.
     
  17. stevos

    stevos
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    If i did it, i would have to go cold turket
     
  18. wolfgang

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    I don't have use 5 B&W speakers only a HTM2 and I don't find it that difficult to drive. A single old 5 channels amp like the Rotel at 100W each was more then adequate for my room.

    I think the most cost effective way I could live with in order to enjoy some music and watch a few DVDs would be to get an Oppo connected directly to the Panasonic LCD TV. However, I find 5.1 still too much fun so will keep the old AV processor but get 5 active speakers and a sub ... marketed for studio monitoring which are cheaper with less bulsh*t.
     
  19. Nimby

    Nimby
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    I listen to music for hours every day and watch films only at the weekends.

    I use the same system for both except that the DVDP takes over film duties from the CDP.

    You don't have to spend a fortune to get something you enjoy listening to.

    You just need listen to the music instead the hifi.

    Those who constantly upgrade aren't listening to the music. IMO.

    I can honestly say that I have no desire to spend any more on my main speakers or amps. If they broke I would probably just have them repaired unless I won the lottery. (and I don't do the lottery)

    Some systems demand attention because they are designed to focus on the grain rather than the overall picture.

    Others just sound real enough to satisfy for very long periods.

    Some speakers will never satisfy no matter how much you spend up front. Because they have faults which draw attention to certain details rather than painting the whole picture. Its as if the reds stand out and the greens, yellows and blues are recessive.

    Listen to speakers which simply sound real rather than "exciting", "impressive", "pinsharp", "detailed", "image like a hologram" and "do great bass".

    These are descriptions of hifi. Not music. You can't pinpoint something in real life like some systems image. That's hifi. Not music. Real instruments don't "do great bass". They sound exactly like they are.

    You don't turn up the colours on your widescreen TV to make it more exciting. Nor do you screw up the contrast. Your eyes know instinctively what looks right. Why cheat on your ears with a twin turbo, high definition system which exaggerates every detail if it isn't real? I prefer to listen to the talented performer rather than hear their acne bursting through my speakers! ;)

    Pace, rhythm and emotion are what really matter. Not molecules of saliva hitting the microphone to make it sound "real".
     
  20. stevos

    stevos
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    Nimby not sure where you are coming from. I know what most of the bands i have cd's for should sound like as i have heard them live, what i want from my music (and av) is a full sound that i can listen to without noticing problems but doesn't pick to death poor recordings and remains fun.

    As for the htm2, not heard the rotel but the denon's own internal power amp makes the vocals sound blurred as complared to the cyrus and to me vocals are the most important part of the film.
     
  21. stevos

    stevos
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    The other problem is once you hear problems in hifi's / av setups its almost impossible to stop hearing them.
     
  22. Nobber22

    Nobber22
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    If I'm honest I can't think of two families of amps whose sound I dislike more than Cyrus stereo amps and Denon AV amps.:( Both have always struck me as over-lean and lacking in the bass department, regardless of the speakers on the end of 'em. Cyrus themselves appear to have changed the sound of their latest 8 series kit and some say this is all for the better. A demo at Bristol next month will give me a chance to make up my own mind. :lesson:

    Personally I reckon I might be happier with the B&W MT30 with something like a warmer Arcam AV amp (or perhaps Marantz or HK) rather than your setup - which of course I haven't heard in your room! ;)

    I'm certainly not trying to slag off your system and say you've made a mistake with all your careful purchases over the years, because if you're happy with it.....

    Crap - I'm trying to give you my opinion without sounding like I'm being a berk about your kit - and at the same time not giving you much advice either...:( :( . Sorry, I think I'm failing miserably! :(
     
  23. Philly112

    Philly112
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    Well, if you look in the classifieds I am going through a serious downgrade at the moment.
    Provisionally sold my Parasound pre/power combo, and looking to sell my M and K speakers and sub.
    Replacing the Parasound with a £200 3802 :)eek: ) and will be getting some cheap SVS speakers and a Monolith sub.
    So going from a multi thousand pound system to one which will set me back a grand.
    Why you might well ask?
    Firstly - money!
    But secondly - I find that to really get the most out of what I have - especially for movies, which is 80% of the use - I need to be playing at reference levels.
    In all honesty, the difference in my Parasound kit and my previous Yam AX1 is not great at normal levels, to my ears at least. Sure, the Denon will not be as good as the Yam, but we'll just have to see...
    Of course, I know that what I am doing is not logical to some, but I also know that buying S/H from the forums gives us the opportunity to try these things out - heck, the Denon might well be up there in a months time for £170, and I'll be after a Levinson!!

    Will be posting a thread when I have completed the changes and let everyone know how it goes
    Phil
     
  24. stevos

    stevos
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    I actually quiet like the sound from my system, but as you say it has all been very carefully choosen.

    The referrence/normal level thing has been bugging me for a while, but i still hear major difference at quiet low levels but worth the extra money who knows.

    I think i shall set myself a budget and go do some demo's to see what is out there.

    What do you guys think would be a starter price for an av amp and speakers that will produce a okay(!!!) stereo and av sound.
     
  25. ssuellid

    ssuellid
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    I tried a load two years ago up to £1500 and ended up keeping my old Denon 3802 and adding a stereo amp to it - ex demo Cyrus 6. It was the stereo part that was letting the AV amps down - I did not try Primare tho and wish I had.

    If you like Cyrus I doubt you will like the Arcam sound - even for AV.
     
  26. wolfgang

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    What is it really you are trying to do? I think the starting sum is £0. By connecting the DVDP directly to the TV and listen with the built in TV speakers.

    This might interest you Panasonic.
     

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