Upgrade from DiVA to FMJ?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by mbiggins, Nov 2, 2005.

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  1. mbiggins

    mbiggins
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    I currently have the following setup:

    Arcam CD92, A85 and P85 and Quad 21L.

    I was thinking of gradually upgrading to the FMJ range. I'd like to end up with CD36+C31+2xP35 eventually. If I were to only buy one component now, what would give me the greatest benefit?

    i) Replace the CD92 with a second-hand CD33?
    ii) Replace the CD92 with the CD36?
    iii) Add a C31, using both the A85 and P85 as power amps?
    iv) Add a P35 to drive the LF, P85 the HF, using the A85 as a preamp?

    I'd be tempted to think that ii or iii might be the best option. Any ideas?
     
  2. Timmy C

    Timmy C
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    You may also consider a CD23. There are some that argue it had a better sound than the 33 and you may get one cheaper.
     
  3. ruben20

    ruben20
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    I think that option 3 would create the biggest change in your setup. The cd 92 already quite good. A pre like the fmj c31 is quite a lot better than the one inside the a85. A pre is a very important factor in determining the sound.
     
  4. mbiggins

    mbiggins
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    OK thanks for that. When I've upgraded in the past. I've always found that the speakers and the amp make more difference than the CD player. There was a big improvement moving from a Denon amp to the A85, from Tannoys to the Quads, and event adding the P85. However, I didn't find so much of a difference moving from a budget Technics CD to the CD92.

    I wasn't sure whether it is the preamp section or the power amp section that was more important to sound quality.

    I could demo the full FMJ setup at the local dealer, but I suppose it will be more difficult to see the difference adding the C31 to my kit. I suppose I could try C31+A90+CD192, which would probably be similar to my kit.
     
  5. andym

    andym
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    I agree with ruben20 that (iii) is likely to show the greatest benefit.

    Not that I want to complicate your choices, but, if you're talking ambitions, you should listen to 2 x P1 as well as 2 x P35. I think received wisdom has it that, beyond a certain standard, a power amp is a power amp and anything will do. Well, all I can say is that when I auditioned CD33, C30 and 2 x P35 against 2 x P1 I was shocked at how much better the P1 was, as was my dealer, who hadn't done the comparison before. To be honest, I still don't understand *why* there was such an improvement. (There's a more detailed thread further back in time. Search on C30 if you're interested.)

    [As for ambitions, I'd love to hear bi-amped P1s! Trouble is, there's no point: 4 x P1 could never get past the domestic radar... ]

    Hope I haven't confused things...

    Andy
     
  6. mbiggins

    mbiggins
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    Thanks. I was just wondering about the same thing myself last night. I thought that 2xP35 would be better than 2xP1, as I seem to remember a review of monoblocs that found that they weren't worth the outlay. 4xP1 probably would be marginally better, but you'd need to build an extension to house everything, and remortgage as well. I wonder whether anyone has biamped with monos? Even better, I wonder if anyone with three-way speakers has triamped? 6 monos would take up quite a bit of space!
     

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