System help for someone that’s a bit clueless please 😬

Flobs

Active Member
When I researched my speakers I remember seeing that KEF suggested pairing an amp that output 60-110% of the upper limit on the recommended amp range of any speaker. It's a very general rule of thumb but it seems sensible to me. So the Lyngdorf would make a very good pairing with the Dali's by that measure - I'd certainly like to give that a listen :)
Sorry that only stands for KEF but it gives an idea for what a manufacturer thinks.
Some manufacturers make speakers capable of handling 300W yet they were developed and work fine with 8W valve amps in mind. So yes it's worth getting to know the manufacturer.
 

Hoku

Active Member
So is there any rule of thumb for a speakers rated wattage in reference to wattage provided by the amplifier?

I would pay very little attention to a speaker’s recommended power handling. It’s one of the least useful bits of information to take into account. It’s far easier to damage a speaker with a low powered amplifier than a quality high powered one. Most speakers thrive on high quality high current amplifiers.

Just keep in mind these basic principles;

An 8 ohm rated speaker is typically less demanding than a 4 ohm rated speaker, but their sensitivity has to be taken into account too:

So a speaker with say 88 or higher db sensitivity should generate higher sound pressure levels for the same amplifier input power than say an 84db sensitivity speaker.

So in the case of the DALI Menuet SE’s for example, (as is often the case with smaller speakers), they’re rated at 4 ohms and have an 86db sensitivity rating. So they’re going to need more grunt to get them going than a larger flooorstander with say 90db sensitivity into 8 ohms.

But there’s specs and specs, and this is an element of online reviews that can be genuinely helpful. (The less lazy ones anyway).

Check this one out for example:

Link to YouTube review of DALI Menuet SE by British Audiophile…

Not only does Taran help you see what these specs mean in the real world, he actually suggests amplifiers that seemed to complement or work against the DALI’s, so does some of the ground work for you.

Specs can only take you so far.

For example, my DALI Rubicon 2’s are 4 ohm rated speakers with sensitivity rating of 87db. In practice though, they do need quality amplification to get them going (and this is important): it’s not about just creating a certain sound pressure level from the speakers, it’s about being able to grip and control the speakers, usually the bass, so they’re timing isn’t softened too much.

They are certainly harder to drive than my Ruark Epilogue II’s which are also rated at 87db but are 8ohm.

The DALI Rubicon 2’s sound superb on the end of my 140wpc Anthem, but then they should. Timing is spot on, they just come alive and are full of energy.

The Rubicons sounded quite flat on a cheap Denon DRA800H amp though. The Denon could play loud, but the fun, liveliness and joy just dissipated from the speakers.

I tried them on my Quad Vena II amp though, and it was a surprisingly good match. Each complemented the other.

The DALI Rubicons are fast, have a full bodied and life-like midrange and a joyful bouncy bass that has real character and dynamics. My only near-criticism is that the treble can be a little too detailed on poor recordings.

But the Quad retains all the liveliness and sound timing of the DALI’s but gives a more fleshed out full bodied natural tone to the treble. So they just work together really well.

And I think I would only know that from experience because their 4ohm rating would indicate they would potentially need a more gutsy amp than the 45wpc Quad to get them going.

Ironically the Quad drove them with much more gusto and drive than the Denon which had a higher watts per channel rating.

So they’re power and quality power, and watts per channel are only half the story.

So reading up and educating yourself is certainly a good thing, as it will give you more insight and help you shortlist prior to any demo, but specs can only take you so far and at times can be a little misleading.

Some manufacturers are very conservative in their ratings and others over egg their ratings and play with the figures to make the headline figures look better than they really are.

Likening amplifier’s specs to cars for a moment. If watts per channel is BHP (or PS), then current is like torque. You can have two cars with identical BHP figures, but in the real world, it’s their torque that gives a better indication of real world performance.

Trouble is although car makers quite torque figures, few amplifier manufacturers quote current delivery, or damping factor.

So this is where a certain amount of experience and a good dealer comes in.
 

SeNtIeNtMiNoRiTy

Standard Member
I would pay very little attention to a speaker’s recommended power handling. It’s one of the least useful bits of information to take into account. It’s far easier to damage a speaker with a low powered amplifier than a quality high powered one. Most speakers thrive on high quality high current amplifiers.

Just keep in mind these basic principles;

An 8 ohm rated speaker is typically less demanding than a 4 ohm rated speaker, but their sensitivity has to be taken into account too:

So a speaker with say 88 or higher db sensitivity should generate higher sound pressure levels for the same amplifier input power than say an 84db sensitivity speaker.

So in the case of the DALI Menuet SE’s for example, (as is often the case with smaller speakers), they’re rated at 4 ohms and have an 86db sensitivity rating. So they’re going to need more grunt to get them going than a larger flooorstander with say 90db sensitivity into 8 ohms.

But there’s specs and specs, and this is an element of online reviews that can be genuinely helpful. (The less lazy ones anyway).

Check this one out for example:

Link to YouTube review of DALI Menuet SE by British Audiophile…

Not only does Taran help you see what these specs mean in the real world, he actually suggests amplifiers that seemed to complement or work against the DALI’s, so does some of the ground work for you.

Specs can only take you so far.

For example, my DALI Rubicon 2’s are 4 ohm rated speakers with sensitivity rating of 87db. In practice though, they do need quality amplification to get them going (and this is important): it’s not about just creating a certain sound pressure level from the speakers, it’s about being able to grip and control the speakers, usually the bass, so they’re timing isn’t softened too much.

They are certainly harder to drive than my Ruark Epilogue II’s which are also rated at 87db but are 8ohm.

The DALI Rubicon 2’s sound superb on the end of my 140wpc Anthem, but then they should. Timing is spot on, they just come alive and are full of energy.

The Rubicons sounded quite flat on a cheap Denon DRA800H amp though. The Denon could play loud, but the fun, liveliness and joy just dissipated from the speakers.

I tried them on my Quad Vena II amp though, and it was a surprisingly good match. Each complemented the other.

The DALI Rubicons are fast, have a full bodied and life-like midrange and a joyful bouncy bass that has real character and dynamics. My only near-criticism is that the treble can be a little too detailed on poor recordings.

But the Quad retains all the liveliness and sound timing of the DALI’s but gives a more fleshed out full bodied natural tone to the treble. So they just work together really well.

And I think I would only know that from experience because their 4ohm rating would indicate they would potentially need a more gutsy amp than the 45wpc Quad to get them going.

Ironically the Quad drove them with much more gusto and drive than the Denon which had a higher watts per channel rating.

So they’re power and quality power, and watts per channel are only half the story.

So reading up and educating yourself is certainly a good thing, as it will give you more insight and help you shortlist prior to any demo, but specs can only take you so far and at times can be a little misleading.

Some manufacturers are very conservative in their ratings and others over egg their ratings and play with the figures to make the headline figures look better than they really are.

Likening amplifier’s specs to cars for a moment. If watts per channel is BHP (or PS), then current is like torque. You can have two cars with identical BHP figures, but in the real world, it’s their torque that gives a better indication of real world performance.

Trouble is although car makers quite torque figures, few amplifier manufacturers quote current delivery, or damping factor.

So this is where a certain amount of experience and a good dealer comes in.
Thank you very much.

I think in this regard I’ll have a check to see what speakers other recommend to pair with the Lyngdorf.

I’ll then audition them.
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished Member
R3s have been mentioned and their wide dispersion gives a great soundstage for classical music. There's good depth as well along with fast tight notes given the right amplification. Not a fan of electronic music but as you say the attributes are almost the same as classical.
I can confirm to the R3's being good with electronic music, nice tight bass and nice clear mids and highs.
 

SeNtIeNtMiNoRiTy

Standard Member
So how do we think the TDAI-1200 would do with the Buchardt S400 MKII’s?

Seems that sensitivity is 88db.

They are 4 ohms, 40-200W, 33 - 40.000 Hz +/- 3dB.

Assuming at 33Hz they‘ll pretty much nullify the need for a sub.

Only issue is that Buchardt don’t sell through retailers so a demo is out of the question.

Any thoughts please?
 

Flobs

Active Member
I'm not a fan of 3 way or the design of the KEF R3 but I feel it's a good place to start 'in room' it will give a similarly low frequence response imo.
I would give the Spendor A1 an audition as well.
These 2 come closest to what I would go for Spendor has a excellent 'broadband' bass/mid driver, KEF go for a 3 way with a 'strange' mid tweeter arrangement that they seem to be close to mastering.
I would then pick another 2 or 3 from the list Gava gave you earlier most differ from the ones I selected in having lower crossovers. (for me that's a different approach).

As I said before don't get hung up about the Sub that can be a decission later on once you have settled with the system you choose. Of note though is the KEF R3's would leave you a bit to play with from your budget no?
Don't forget stands (and wires for that matter) I go for as heavy as possible (so with lesting) and blutac the speakers to the stand.

As for the Buchardt their 33Hz in room would probably be similar to the R3's and A1's in room response depending on room and placement. For starting I wouldn't bother with the possible hassle. Find local dealers that have what you fancy in stock and give them an audition.
 

SeNtIeNtMiNoRiTy

Standard Member
I'm not a fan of 3 way or the design of the KEF R3 but I feel it's a good place to start 'in room' it will give a similarly low frequence response imo.
I would give the Spendor A1 an audition as well.
These 2 come closest to what I would go for Spendor has a excellent 'broadband' bass/mid driver, KEF go for a 3 way with a 'strange' mid tweeter arrangement that they seem to be close to mastering.
I would then pick another 2 or 3 from the list Gava gave you earlier most differ from the ones I selected in having lower crossovers. (for me that's a different approach).

As I said before don't get hung up about the Sub that can be a decission later on once you have settled with the system you choose. Of note though is the KEF R3's would leave you a bit to play with from your budget no?
Don't forget stands (and wires for that matter) I go for as heavy as possible (so with lesting) and blutac the speakers to the stand.

As for the Buchardt their 33Hz in room would probably be similar to the R3's and A1's in room response depending on room and placement. For starting I wouldn't bother with the possible hassle. Find local dealers that have what you fancy in stock and give them an audition.
Duly noted, incidentally has the standby issue been sorted on the newer Kef KC62’s?

I’d also consider the LS50 Meta but will likely want a sub in due course, £1200 for a sub that doesn’t come to life is a bit much 😬
 

Flobs

Active Member
has the standby issue been sorted on the newer Kef KC62’s?
No idea, you bought my attention to this sub, which has smaller drivers than my mains. I'm not in for a sub (I was watching a film with reasonable volume and a sudden chest thump moment came and the back wall of my house made a great cracking noise, I think that's enough).
I’d also consider the LS50 Meta
Your braver than me I like a big large band driver in my speakers. My son's wife might accept them though.
 

josefK666

Active Member
Duly noted, incidentally has the standby issue been sorted on the newer Kef KC62’s?

I’d also consider the LS50 Meta but will likely want a sub in due course, £1200 for a sub that doesn’t come to life is a bit much 😬
I know there were still problems as recently as May though I think a firmware update has been issued. The SVS Micro might be another good cheaper option if you're looking for compact subs. if compact isn't such a big deal there are lots of great options for half the price or less.

Interestingly regarding the Buchardt and the earlier discussion on amps, Taran of The British Audiophile first preferred a powerful Hegel but actually most of all a 25/40W tube amp! This hobby isn't easy at times....
 

SeNtIeNtMiNoRiTy

Standard Member
So just a quick update, I went to a bricks and mortar shop to try some gear out.

Lyngdorf TDAI 1120 + Kef R3’s = No lows at all

Lyngdorf TDAI 1120 + Dali floors standers (I think Opticon 8) = Woolly with no definition

Rotel RA-1572 + Dali floors standers (I think Opticon 8) = Bigger sound but lacked highs

Rotel RA-1572 + B&W 702 S2 floor standers = incredible with electronic music, put some metal on and the bass player left the room

Considering I listened to a £6000 system (without streaming or cables etc.) and thought it was great until I changed genre I’m extremely disappointed.

I won’t be bothering at all, I’m not sure if it’s down to the setup of the room with the treatment or poorly set up equipment but I think I’ll buy a Naim Mu-So 2 instead, my current little Qube sounds better than anything I heard and it was £600.

At least I saved myself £6000!

Thanks to everyone that’s chimed in.
 

SeNtIeNtMiNoRiTy

Standard Member
You went to the wrong place I’d say.
Maybe, took a whole day off work too. Think I’m going to invest in some high quality monitors for my studio instead. It will be easier to listen in there anyway. TBH as a salesman I wasn’t impressed with the place, they spent more time fiddling with Roon than anything else.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Maybe, took a whole day off work too. Think I’m going to invest in some high quality monitors for my studio instead. It will be easier to listen in there anyway. TBH as a salesman I wasn’t impressed with the place, they spent more time fiddling with Roon than anything else.

It does sound like a dubious experience to me. I’ve had the 1120 for just over a year and a half.

It certainly provides enough bass in itself. I’ve tried with my relatively big Adam actives (through the analogue outputs) and it was simply fantastic.

They are a revealing speaker even with an average, inexpensive dac/preamp but a revelation with the Lyngdorf. And they were never shy with bass, but again, the extra detail and depth from the 1120 was very much welcome.

I use 1120 now with a pair of AVI Trios, a moderately difficult to drive three way floor stander. And the Lyngdorf has transformed them completely. What was a great pair of speakers are now simply impossible to fault.

Inbetween I’ve tried the 1120 on a pair of cheap Q Acoustic floorstanders. Same story, changed for the better; and a pair of point source single driver floorstanders, again improvements all round.

I’m certain you were short changed on your visit.

A pity indeed.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Ps, a pair of high quality actives is always a first class idea.
 

gava

Well-known Member
When looking for my new speakers I went to 5 different places and listened to lots of systems, sometimes ones that cost £25,000 and didn't find anything with those systems really blew me away. Yes they were good, but my current home system [crucially in my room] sounded pretty much as good or better than those systems in those rooms.

I do think though that for your budget you will be able to get something an awful lot better than the Naim Mu-So 2.

£3-4k is a slightly awkward price range as the all-in-one "just add speakers" amps with DSP are all in the £2k range, leaving not quite enough for the rest of the system IMO.

The Arcam SA30 and NAD C399 are good alternatives (with Dirac Live onboard) to the Lyngdorf if you found it not to your taste (which it wasn't to mine though it's very highly regarded on this forum) add a solid pair of bookshelves like the KEF LS50M and a couple of decent subs (two SVS SB1000 for example) and you will have a system that sounds good in your room. It simply couldn't sound bad.

However, I certainly agree with @Paul7777x that a good set of active speakers/monitors would be a superb idea especially if you can integrate with a DSP system.

A choice that I think would certainly be worth considering would be the Buchardt A500 - direct selling means that their return policy is very good. They have on-board DSP. If you don't like them just return for a refund. I have never heard of a bad review of these and I would say in the price range you are looking at they should certainly be on your shortlist. You can add a wireless sub later if you felt you needed it, though you likely wouldn't.

Therefore my advice at this point would be to try the Buchardt - it fits your budget and what do you have to lose?
 

SeNtIeNtMiNoRiTy

Standard Member
When looking for my new speakers I went to 5 different places and listened to lots of systems, sometimes ones that cost £25,000 and didn't find anything with those systems really blew me away. Yes they were good, but my current home system [crucially in my room] sounded pretty much as good or better than those systems in those rooms.

I do think though that for your budget you will be able to get something an awful lot better than the Naim Mu-So 2.

£3-4k is a slightly awkward price range as the all-in-one "just add speakers" amps with DSP are all in the £2k range, leaving not quite enough for the rest of the system IMO.

The Arcam SA30 and NAD C399 are good alternatives (with Dirac Live onboard) to the Lyngdorf if you found it not to your taste (which it wasn't to mine though it's very highly regarded on this forum) add a solid pair of bookshelves like the KEF LS50M and a couple of decent subs (two SVS SB1000 for example) and you will have a system that sounds good in your room. It simply couldn't sound bad.

However, I certainly agree with @Paul7777x that a good set of active speakers/monitors would be a superb idea especially if you can integrate with a DSP system.

A choice that I think would certainly be worth considering would be the Buchardt A500 - direct selling means that their return policy is very good. They have on-board DSP. If you don't like them just return for a refund. I have never heard of a bad review of these and I would say in the price range you are looking at they should certainly be on your shortlist. You can add a wireless sub later if you felt you needed it, though you likely wouldn't.

Therefore my advice at this point would be to try the Buchardt - it fits your budget and what do you have to lose?
TBH I’m thinking of a pair of Genelec nearfield monitors and a sub in my studio when built instead. Get the benefit when producing music too then.
 

gava

Well-known Member
TBH I’m thinking of a pair of Genelec nearfield monitors and a sub in my studio when built instead. Get the benefit when producing music too then.
"instead" ? surely you mean as well. :)

Having a sofa or comfy chair in the studio would work too. :)
 

Flobs

Active Member
I think I’ll buy a Naim Mu-So 2 instead,
What have we done? o_O
I'm not too surprised D class amps and 3 way speakers in an awkward price range.
I wonder where the bass player went with the B&W floorstanders. With metal some volume is required as soo much is in the lower mids and that area between 120 and 600Hz is soo important. Either the amp couldn't push the drivers or the drivers aren't good enough. I'll bet on the drivers I mean 5 drivers in a box at that price range with 3rd order xovers and some decent filtering required just isn't on imo (theyb drop to 3.1 Ohms). Still it's a lovely tweeter isn't it?
Finding a combo for electronic and Metal that scores high with both is difficult imo. For me my system does well accross the board for me (dropping to about 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 for electronic (gets damn close to a 10 on vocals but I don't think you need that) then again new it's a 10.5k euros system).
Never mind.
Good luck with your projects.
If you get the chance try a Rega amp (Elex or Elicit) through some Spendors (A1 book shelf and/or A7 floorstanders). Shouldn't be hard in the UK.
I'm looking at a Rega Elex with DAVIS Courbet N°4's for my daughter that might be interesting for you. I think at speed of the mid/bass drivers would fill in that bassist gap you found.
 

SeNtIeNtMiNoRiTy

Standard Member
What have we done? o_O
I'm not too surprised D class amps and 3 way speakers in an awkward price range.
I wonder where the bass player went with the B&W floorstanders. With metal some volume is required as soo much is in the lower mids and that area between 120 and 600Hz is soo important. Either the amp couldn't push the drivers or the drivers aren't good enough. I'll bet on the drivers I mean 5 drivers in a box at that price range with 3rd order xovers and some decent filtering required just isn't on imo (theyb drop to 3.1 Ohms). Still it's a lovely tweeter isn't it?
Finding a combo for electronic and Metal that scores high with both is difficult imo. For me my system does well accross the board for me (dropping to about 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 for electronic (gets damn close to a 10 on vocals but I don't think you need that) then again new it's a 10.5k euros system).
Never mind.
Good luck with your projects.
If you get the chance try a Rega amp (Elex or Elicit) through some Spendors (A1 book shelf and/or A7 floorstanders). Shouldn't be hard in the UK.
I'm looking at a Rega Elex with DAVIS Courbet N°4's for my daughter that might be interesting for you. I think at speed of the mid/bass drivers would fill in that bassist gap you found.
I think if I’m being completely honest I won’t be able to listen loud enough for my liking In the living room environment. If I get a pair of decent moniors and a sub in my studio it would work better. In terms of translating reference material to my own productions there’s no better way than using the same speakers. Might buy a Bluesound Node and hook it up in there.
 

Flobs

Active Member
I think if I’m being completely honest I won’t be able to listen loud enough for my liking In the living room environment. If I get a pair of decent moniors and a sub in my studio it would work better. In terms of translating reference material to my own productions there’s no better way than using the same speakers. Might buy a Bluesound Node and hook it up in there.
Yes I think your on the right track for you.
The Rega Spendor suggestion was just if ever you came across the opportunity and had the time. Just for the experience.
Btw when I 1st started in the audiophile/music lover stuff I found what 'they' pushed at me weak. Did well with classical music but not much else. At the time I was really into Front 242 and needed something dynamic and pushy (couldn't afford the amp that did it but by chance fell on some excellent speakers). There's a lot of chance in getting what your looking for in this hobby imo.
 

SeNtIeNtMiNoRiTy

Standard Member
Yes I think your on the right track for you.
The Rega Spendor suggestion was just if ever you came across the opportunity and had the time. Just for the experience.
Btw when I 1st started in the audiophile/music lover stuff I found what 'they' pushed at me weak. Did well with classical music but not much else. At the time I was really into Front 242 and needed something dynamic and pushy (couldn't afford the amp that did it but by chance fell on some excellent speakers). There's a lot of chance in getting what your looking for in this hobby imo.
Had Tyranny for you on the other day 😉
 

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