smit9891

Novice Member
Hi. I am a new member to the forum and fairly out of touch with Hi Fi equipments/ components generally but especially within my current price range. As per the title I am looking for advice on upgrading my system - I hope I am posting in the right place.

I have been collecting records since my student days, when I purchased my first system (Rega RP1 Turntable fitted with a Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge, Cambridge Audio 551P Pre-Amp & a Yamaha A-S500 amp powering a pair of Mordaunt Short Aviano 2s). I would suggest that 80% of the time when using the system I am listening to vinyl. After 11 years and with an ever growing record collection it feels like the right time to enhance my enjoyment when listening to it. My Hi Fi system is currently set up in my living room, a reasonably large but long space 6.2m x 3.8m (23.6m2), with the system housed on the shorter dimension. I would plan to set up my new system in the same place.

In recent weeks I have been doing a fair bit of browsing to get a better appreciation of what equipment is available and also get a feel for the market. My plan would be to upgrade my set up over the next 3-5 years with a total spend of around £10K. This is only a guide at this stage based on my disposable income, I would be prepared to spend more or less depending on what provides a more overall balanced system. Which brings me to the part I am struggling most with...

While doing research, I have read many times that a majority of your budget is best allocated to the speakers as they are the difference maker. This should be the starting place but I don't really know where to start. I am open to floor standers or bookshelf, whatever best suits my room. While browsing, I was particularly drawn to the Focal Aria 948s, having not listened to them it is the aesthetics that have drawn me in. I understand that they benefit from being positioned away from the wall which shouldn't be too much of an issue. They look to be available new from various dealers around the £2,600. My concern is that this value doesn't represent a majority of my budget when lined up against the other components I am considering. Please see below list of what I am considering:

Turntable - Rega P8 (£1,700) + Apheta 3 Cartridge (£900 when purchased with Turntable)
Pre-Amp - I would appreciate any advice here having not really looked. I am a fan of the Hegel v10 (£1,350)
Amplifier - Lyngdorf TDAI - 1120 (£1,995)
Speakers - ???

There is plenty of room left in the budget for speakers but am struggling to determine which model/ manufacturer would provide me with a balanced system. That is assuming that the other components of the system compliment one another. My questions are:

Recommendations for speakers in budget range that would compliment my desired system and room dimensions?
Recommendations for Pre-Amps?
Any thoughts/ comments on the components making up my desired system?
Are there any other components I should factor in, cables, interfaces, subs, etc.

I apologise for the long post, I wanted to ensure there is enough information to prompt a positive discussion. If any further detail is required then please just ask.

Thanks in advance. Smit9891
 

Nico72

Active Member
Are you aware that the lyngdorf will apply AD conversion and DSP to your 4k worth of analogue source?
Still, room perfect will most likely enhance the sound of any source in a given room. I guess what is left of the analogue sound after that process is lower s/n ratio and lower dynamic range compared to CD.
 

smit9891

Novice Member
Are you aware that the lyngdorf will apply AD conversion and DSP to your 4k worth of analogue source?
Still, room perfect will most likely enhance the sound of any source in a given room. I guess what is left of the analogue sound after that process is lower s/n ratio and lower dynamic range compared to CD.
I was meant to reference this in my original comment, asking the question if anyone had experienced it. I am aware of the ADC in the Lyngdorf but don't know how much of an issue it is or how much it would impact the authenticity of the sound produced by vinyl. I have done some reading on the topic and despite raising similar points, I haven't seen anyone reflect on this negatively. That said, I have found limited reviews that go into depth on the AD conversion. I might not be looking in the right place, maybe someone on this forum can point me in the right direction or provide some clarity on this.

When considering the perks of room perfect, it looks as though there is potentially a trade off between the organic sound of vinyl and enriching the musicality of the experience. Again, the insight of others would be good to hear on this topic.

You are possibly getting a bit to technical for me in your last sentence, are you basically saying the 'authentic' crackle of records would still be distinguishable due to being mostly in a lower hertz range?
 

Nico72

Active Member
I do not think that vinyl and room correction is an issue. Room correction has the potential to improve the sound of any source. You already have a large collection of vinyl, so you will enjoy the advantages of room correction with it.
Since your only source is vinyl and you are planning to spend a relatively large portion of your budget on the analogue front end, I just wanted to make sure you knew that the signal would be turned to ones and zeros inside the lyngdorf.
My last point is that the lyngdorf will do its best to reproduce the fidelity of the analogue input that it is fed. So if the main selling point of vinyl is that it "does not sound digital" despite its drawbacks, that aspect will be lost once the signal has gone through AD conversion.
Still, I agree that room correction is the simplest way of improving reproduced sound in a domestic setting.
 

English Invader

Active Member
If you're intending to spend £10,000 on components, you shouldn't be needing to ask questions on what to buy. You should already know.

Hi-Fi audio isn't something you can just throw money at and expect to get great results. It takes time to learn about different types of components and how they interact with others and how these components fit in with your own tastes. Personal taste comes into play a lot more at the high end and you'll get a lot more out of the high end if you serve apprenticeships at the low and middle end first to work out what your tastes are.

If you're ready for a ten grand set-up, your questions here will be a lot more specific than "I've got 10 grand. Sell me a system!"
 

phil t

Well-known Member
Maybe I've been lucky or maybe it's how I've set up my hifi in various rooms that I've had, but I've never thought the sound so broken as to need room correction.
Those that do speak highly of Lyngdorf (various).

Speaker wise, Sonus Faber Sonetto 3 is worth an audition as are Audiovector R3s and something suitably priced from Neat acoustics. To an extent, it depends on what you listen to. Sonus Faber and death metal don't have a great synergy.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
If you're intending to spend £10,000 on components, you shouldn't be needing to ask questions on what to buy. You should already know.

Hi-Fi audio isn't something you can just throw money at and expect to get great results. It takes time to learn about different types of components and how they interact with others and how these components fit in with your own tastes. Personal taste comes into play a lot more at the high end and you'll get a lot more out of the high end if you serve apprenticeships at the low and middle end first to work out what your tastes are.

If you're ready for a ten grand set-up, your questions here will be a lot more specific than "I've got 10 grand. Sell me a system!"
Nice problem to have tbough! Spendor or ATC for me with that sort of budget.
 

gava

Active Member
Assuming a budget after turntable of about £7.5k

Idea 1 - the active option...
Add a Pro-ject phono preamp and then a set of Buchard A700 + Hub. Should come in bang on budget. And be easy to get a trial, etc.

Idea 2 - the retro option...
A set of JBL L100 or Klipsch Heresy IV (4k).
And nice tube integrated amp - budget around 3k.
It will look good, fits nicely with the vinyl aesthetic and brings modern tech to the retro feel.

My brother plays a lot of vinyl via his Heresy IVs and is constantly amazed how great it sounds. He has a very big (by UK standards) listening room/house in Texas, and the Heresy IVs fill it effortlessly.

Idea 3 - the correct option...
NAD M10 100W/8Ω, phono preamp, and Dirac. (2k)
Lyngdorf TDAI 1120 60W/8Ω, phono preamp and Roomperfect. (2k)
Revel Performa M126Be (4k) + 2x REL T5i subwoofers.

Idea 4 - the pure option...
Hegel V10 Phono stage (1350)
Hegel H120 (2200)
Q Acoustics Concept 500 (4k)
 
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spinaltap

Distinguished Member
With a £10k budget, I suggest that you audition Meridian.

For example, Meridian DSP5200 digital active speakers, with Meridian 218 pre-amplifier (Roon Ready and MQA). You will have spare change for adding a turntable.
 

Craig uk

Well-known Member
With a £10k budget, I suggest that you audition Meridian.

For example, Meridian DSP5200 digital active speakers, with Meridian 218 pre-amplifier (Roon Ready and MQA). You will have spare change for adding a turntable.
I’d recommend passing on the TT and adding a little more budget for SE version, they’re in a different league to the 5200.
 

smit9891

Novice Member
If you're intending to spend £10,000 on components, you shouldn't be needing to ask questions on what to buy. You should already know.

Hi-Fi audio isn't something you can just throw money at and expect to get great results. It takes time to learn about different types of components and how they interact with others and how these components fit in with your own tastes. Personal taste comes into play a lot more at the high end and you'll get a lot more out of the high end if you serve apprenticeships at the low and middle end first to work out what your tastes are.

If you're ready for a ten grand set-up, your questions here will be a lot more specific than "I've got 10 grand. Sell me a system!"
Thanks for the reply, I appreciate your thoughts on this and am aware that I perhaps looking at a perspective unfamiliar to those who have spent years enjoying the testing/ mix & matching of components and scenarios.

The £10K figure really was identified as a guide, allowing readers to get a gauge of where I want to be in terms of my listening experience, hoping to stimulate better discussion. I understand where you are coming from and can see how my post reads as 'I have this much cash tell me where to spend it'. You are saying that I will get more value for my investment by first establishing what my personal tastes are.

Perhaps my initial post does come across a little like a cry out for a shortcut, my intention would be to tap into the experience of those on here before making any decisions or spending anything. If you scale back the amount, I am still unsure about where to 'start my apprenticeship'. I am reluctant to squander cash on components in the low end of the market just to gain experience. I suppose dipping your toe into the med - high end of the market can be just as costly (probably more). A balance has to be struck somewhere, I was hoping that tapping into the experience of others would help establish this.

What are your suggestions to help build from my current set up? The easy weakness to identify is the speakers, would this not be the natural starting point?
 

Paul7777x

Member
I’d consider the following.

The Lyngdorf 1120.

These splendid things.


Or, if the budget stretches far enough.


And the Rega P8.

I’d also try the P8 into the 1120s phono stage first.

RoomPerfect and Dynaudios best active speakers will be supremely difficult to beat at your budget, and plenty of cash above.
 

spinaltap

Distinguished Member
I’d recommend passing on the TT and adding a little more budget for SE version, they’re in a different league to the 5200.
DSP5200SE’s are beyond the OP’s budget, which is why I recommended standard DSP5200’s.
 

smit9891

Novice Member
Nice problem to have tbough! Spendor or ATC for me with that sort of budget.
Oh trust me, I am renowned amongst my friends for being a tight-arse when it comes to money! :) I am just not against spending well when it comes to quality.

I have been fortunate enough to continue working uninterrupted throughout the lockdowns, in fact, business has been really good for us and the lack of commuting has become a real benefit to the company. I have worked my arse off the last 2 years and am beginning to see the benefits. Having ring fenced what we need for planed home improvements and factoring in other costs in the next 5 years, along with a contingency, there is a gap where I can reward myself for the hard work.

Thanks for the suggestions, I have just had a look at the Spendors - they are some nice looking speakers! I was browsing ATCs the other day, I am not to sold on the metal grille. Any pointers on system matching or what may suit my living room in terms of performance?
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
I was browsing ATCs the other day, I am not to sold on the metal grille
A mate has the SCM11. He just doest use the grills.
The sound out of them is so lovely and he has them tilted up on the floor and powered by a 40 year old, 45wpc receiver. With proper amplification and at ear height they'd be phenomenal. Personally, I'd be looking at the SCM40A, were I looking to spend heavily. Amp sorted and tuned to the speaker. The tweeter and mid cones need to be heard to be believed. So sweet.
 

Paul7777x

Member
A mate has the SCM11. He just doest use the grills.
The sound out of them is so lovely and he has them tilted up on the floor and powered by a 40 year old, 45wpc receiver. With proper amplification and at ear height they'd be phenomenal. Personally, I'd be looking at the SCM40A, were I looking to spend heavily. Amp sorted and tuned to the speaker. The tweeter and mid cones need to be heard to be believed. So sweet.

I’ve not heard the active ATC but their reputation speaks loudly.

As for matching components, I wouldn’t bother with amps and speakers.

The ATCs and the Dynaudios I mentioned earlier have already done that professionally and no passive amp and speakers will be or can be as well integrated at anything like a similar price or plenty more.

Having a power amp that is specifically designed for each driver and no x-over in between is the way to go.

That is, four power amps per speaker (for example) in the XD 60s.

That is 1.2 KW, of directly coupled, driver specific, power, per stereo pair.

The ATCs have similar as does the Buchard previously mentioned.
 
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smit9891

Novice Member
Maybe I've been lucky or maybe it's how I've set up my hifi in various rooms that I've had, but I've never thought the sound so broken as to need room correction.
Those that do speak highly of Lyngdorf (various).

Speaker wise, Sonus Faber Sonetto 3 is worth an audition as are Audiovector R3s and something suitably priced from Neat acoustics. To an extent, it depends on what you listen to. Sonus Faber and death metal don't have a great synergy.
I have quite a wide ranging collection/ taste in music, I'd say predominantly rock/ alternative and electronic (more downtempo, trip hop, ambient, electro), ranging to classical and Jazz. Not too much death metal in there :D.

Would be a difficult one to system match on musical taste when it's all over the place.
 

Paul7777x

Member
I have quite a wide ranging collection/ taste in music, I'd say predominantly rock/ alternative and electronic (more downtempo, trip hop, ambient, electro), ranging to classical and Jazz. Not too much death metal in there :D.

Would be a difficult one to system match on musical taste when it's all over the place.

Not at all.

A proper hifi plays everything. It’s all music.

If it doesn’t then it’s a poorly made hifi.
 

smit9891

Novice Member
I appreciate everyones responses so far... I am working through them and considering everyones suggestions, plenty of reading for me which is exactly what I asked for!

I will continue to ask questions/ respond to people when pockets of time show themselves over the coming days.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
@Paul7777x, agree, you could go with something like for a very pure and ultra revealing system -

ATC SCM40a - the active version with amps in the speakers £6800
P8 + cart - £2600
Hegel G10 - £1350
Khozmo Passive Preamp to control volume - around £400 depending on options, built to your spec.

A little over budget but .......

To save a bit you could substitute the ATC SCM40a with the passive version at £3800 and add a Nord Acoustics Purifi amp at £2000 (dual mono version with input boards).

I would also look at the Clearaudio Concept turntable with the MC cartridge as an alternative at around £1800.
 

smit9891

Novice Member
Not at all.

A proper hifi plays everything. It’s all music.

If it doesn’t then it’s a poorly made hifi.
I guess that's what I was getting at but I am also glad to hear that I shouldn't be thinking too deeply about the average hertz range of my music in order to select gear suited to it. It would create all sorts of conundrums for me.

I can see that you have left several messages on here. Your time offering advice on my posts is really appreciated. Please don't feel like I am being ignorant by not responding to you straight away. There is quite a bit of detail in your comments, there is no doubt I will be asking questions once I have digested it all.
 

smit9891

Novice Member
@Paul7777x, agree, you could go with something like for a very pure and ultra revealing system -

ATC SCM40a - the active version with amps in the speakers £6800
P8 + cart - £2600
Hegel G10 - £1350
Khozmo Passive Preamp to control volume - around £400 depending on options, built to your spec.

A little over budget but .......

To save a bit you could substitute the ATC SCM40a with the passive version at £3800 and add a Nord Acoustics Purifi amp at £2000 (dual mono version with input boards).

I would also look at the Clearaudio Concept turntable with the MC cartridge as an alternative at around £1800.
Looks like more reading for me tonight! Thanks for the response. No doubt I will be asking questions once I have had a chance to digest all of that.
 

phil t

Well-known Member
A proper hifi plays everything. It’s all music.
I don't disagree with you, it's just that some speakers seem to have an affinity with certain music types.
 

English Invader

Active Member
I am still unsure about where to 'start my apprenticeship'.

This video would be a good start:

It explains the impact your room has on the quality of the sound you get from your speakers. The basic principle is that well-placed mediocre equipment in a good room will outperform badly placed expensive equipment in a bad room.

With a bit of tweaking, you may find that there is a free "upgrade" in the system you already have.
 

New Forester

Active Member
Oh trust me, I am renowned amongst my friends for being a tight-arse when it comes to money! :) I am just not against spending well when it comes to quality.

I have been fortunate enough to continue working uninterrupted throughout the lockdowns, in fact, business has been really good for us and the lack of commuting has become a real benefit to the company. I have worked my arse off the last 2 years and am beginning to see the benefits. Having ring fenced what we need for planed home improvements and factoring in other costs in the next 5 years, along with a contingency, there is a gap where I can reward myself for the hard work.

Thanks for the suggestions, I have just had a look at the Spendors - they are some nice looking speakers! I was browsing ATCs the other day, I am not to sold on the metal grille. Any pointers on system matching or what may suit my living room in terms of performance?
I’m a Spendor user. If you want ideas, ring them directly. You will get excellent advice.
 

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