Some advice please :)

nSanity

Standard Member
Hey folks, please be kind as I'm new to the forum, but have been lurking and reading up a lot over the past few months on AV systems and separates systems on this forum and quite frankly... it's easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of information lol.

So onto why I am posting, and registered even. I have a separates system consisting of a Technics A900mk2 integrated amp, Technics CD player (connected via QED silver anniversary cables), Castle Avon speakers (http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_4_3/images/castleavon.jpg) and love the sound from them.

I play most of my music via my PC through my amp, and have had no problems with interference, bad playback, etc up until now. Now when I play music the playback is very poor to say the least, and have deduced that the problem is not my PC or sound card by playing music through my laptop to amp, or through CD player to amp (though with the CD player the problems are less apparent).

So onto the good stuff, it seems I need a new amp! One that will compliment the sound from my speakers and ideally work well when mated with a PC (though all digital to analog is done via sound card).

I went to a few shops today and they recommended a few setups I could try.

One was the Marantz range of amps, or Arcam (namely the A90/A80 as they have 30% off at the moment), One brand starting with an R which i cant recall :rolleyes:.... but the one that caught my eye was Cyrus, namely the 6v2 or even the 8v2, what are your thoughts on this? (if any :rotfl:) lol.

Budget wise its not really a concern but I don't want to spend thousands and thousands in one go, but at the same time I would like something that will serve me well for years to come as I've had this Technics system for quite a few years now.

Anyhow I'll stop rambling on and hopefully look forward to any advice given :D
 

thfcwestlower

Novice Member
Hi,

I know this sounds obvious, but listen to different amps and see what sound suits you!

Cyrus Vs Arcam/Marantz has a very different sound imo and will suit certain speakers differently.

I have a Cyrus/Dynuadio set up and love the sound, but it's a very subjective thing...
 

nSanity

Standard Member
Yeah, I'm going in today to demo some different amp setups across some Cyrus/Marantz/Rega/Pioneer brands, was just posting to see if anybody could give their feedback on experiences with certain brands over others etc.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
You need to make up your own mind by using your own ears. We'll only tell you what we bought and that we think what we bought was the best, so you will actually glean nothing from that.

Arcam, Cyrus, Marantz, Rega are all fine; I'm a little less impressed by Pioneer, but that may depend on your budget.

Your original post points out that you're using a PC as the source. Generally, PCs and their sound cards make for poor sources, professional quality sound cards cost a small fortune (more than the PC). In any case, your auditioning is going to have to consider the PC, and you need to remember that the total system quality can never exceed its poorest link.
 

SheldonLavine

Novice Member
as the op likes to use a pc as source would there be any benefit adding a DAC between PC and amp?
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Hi, you have wonderful speakers there and your right to keep them, amp wise there are plenty of marques that work well with Castles, I have found Sony ES range of hifi amplifiers are excellent as are Primare. Which brings me nice to budget : Looks like you have £500-1000 to spend, which takes you into Primare A30.1/I30 range both ex-demo or 2nd hand (I used Castle Richmond 2s with a sub off my Primare for a long time). If you go the A30.1/I30 route your into balanced operation via XLR, which opens a lot of avenues to explore. Like adding the £130 Edirol UA-25 at a later date as your into PC use. The Primare is in a different league to the Arcam/Cyrus stuff you mention to my tastes.

http://www.primare.net/00002/00041/00048/00103/
http://www.roland.com/products/en/ua-25/

If your happy with your current soundcard, you should also consider the 2 channel stereo amplifier from Sony the TAF-1200ES, has digital inputs so can be used straight from the digital outputs of your soundcard. A very nicely specced bit of kit with room correction facilities.

http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/3302

Also consider the CA 840A from Richer Sounds another well specced amplifier.
 

phil t

Well-known Member
I have a separates system consisting of a Technics A900mk2 integrated amp, Technics CD player (connected via QED silver anniversary cables), Castle Avon speakers (http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_4_3/images/castleavon.jpg) and love the sound from them.

I play most of my music via my PC through my amp, and have had no problems with interference, bad playback, etc up until now. Now when I play music the playback is very poor to say the least, and have deduced that the problem is not my PC or sound card by playing music through my laptop to amp, or through CD player to amp (though with the CD player the problems are less apparent).

So onto the good stuff, it seems I need a new amp! One that will compliment the sound from my speakers and ideally work well when mated with a PC (though all digital to analog is done via sound card).

I went to a few shops today and they recommended a few setups I could try.

One was the Marantz range of amps, or Arcam (namely the A90/A80 as they have 30% off at the moment), One brand starting with an R which i cant recall :rolleyes:.... but the one that caught my eye was Cyrus, namely the 6v2 or even the 8v2, what are your thoughts on this? (if any :rotfl:) lol.

Budget wise its not really a concern but I don't want to spend thousands and thousands in one go, but at the same time I would like something that will serve me well for years to come as I've had this Technics system for quite a few years now.

Anyhow I'll stop rambling on and hopefully look forward to any advice given :D

You have, to my mind at least, a fantastic pair of speakers. I ran a pair with Audiolab (original) 8000C & 8000PX and latterly with a Musical Fidelity A5 integrated, with a Musical Fidelity A3.2 cd player. To my mind, the Avon’s would respond to an even better source and amplification.

Having listened to a Cyrus cd 8 (not 8x), Cyrus integrated (not sure of the model) and Castle seven, I found (imho) the sound hard and emotionally un-involving. You may, how ever, like the sound a Cyrus/Castle paring make.

To bring the Avon’s to life, I’d spend as much as you can afford on partnering equipment as you can.

:)
 

GYRODEC1

Novice Member
Hello partner,

I've never listened to Roksan equipment, but I have always heard good things about it's powerful forthright sound, detail and slight refinement, especially there amplifiers. Rotel amps are also excellent. But I feel if I was you try and get and audition of the Roksan Kandy L3 amp or if your pockets are deeper even the Caspian amp.

What sort of music do you normally prefer listening to ?

Also do you want an amp with plenty of inputs, phono stage or 1 or 2 sets of speaker outputs?

The only drawback from the Roksan Caspian amp is that is does not have a built in phono stage, which I think is uterly ridiculous when your paying that sort of price you expect it to be already built in or an option. At least the Kandy amp has an built in Phono stage.
 

nSanity

Standard Member
Thanks for all the advice guys.

I had a listen to the Cyrus amp, which were mated to Monitor Audio speakers, and played music through my laptop and I must say I was impressed. How these work with my castles im not sure but I plan on going back and having a listen with my own speakers. One question though, is there a major difference between the Cyrus 8vs and the 8vs2 in terms of sound, as theres a couple of 8vs on ebay at the moment for a lot less than the £850 pricetag, which I dont mind paying but I'm not one to pass up a good deal.

CJROSS, your advice is indeed interesting, I hadn't looked at the products you mentioned and again... am very interested in the Primare stuff, is this another step up from the Cyrus range? Also, do you know of any ex-demo's currently for sale lol! And the Roland product looks interesting, does this do the same sort of thing as a DAC? As I had looked into the Cyrus DAC as a future purchase.

Thanks for the comment son the speakers, I still do love the sound they produce but the amp is currently letting them down. In terms of what music I listen to it is very broad, from stuff from Coldplay, Rasmus, and in that genre, to rap/hip-hop, to some dance, to some classical, so not really specific to one style of music.

Thanks again chaps :D
 

thfcwestlower

Novice Member
I have the Cyrus Dac-X. When I auditioned cd players a couple of years ago, you had to spend a significantly larger amount of money to notice improvements over this partnered with a good transport. To boot, it has an array of other optical and coaxial inputs so you can hook up other digital sources. It's a marvelous product imo.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
CJROSS, your advice is indeed interesting, I hadn't looked at the products you mentioned and again... am very interested in the Primare stuff, is this another step up from the Cyrus range? Also, do you know of any ex-demo's currently for sale lol! And the Roland product looks interesting, does this do the same sort of thing as a DAC? As I had looked into the Cyrus DAC as a future purchase.

For me yes Primare gear is the next rung up the ladder over Cyrus amplification (OPMMV though :smashin:) also worth looking at the back panel on the I30 or Pre 30, A30.2 PA, you'll see a large smattering of XLR inputs, these hooked up to a likewise DAC they are easily bought for £100-£1000 -
From CA DACMagics, M Audio SuperDACs, Benchmarks, Stellos, Chord 64s. Have heard good report of the Cyrus DAC but there are many more out there. Worth also reading up on DACs if your thinking of heading down that route. There are plenty to look at - not just the Cyrus.


BTW I posted the Edirol 25, as you seem to want to stream from the PC, it seems like a very nicely specced piece of kit.


Best regards & Good Luck.
 

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