Upgrading a 20-30 year old system

fried courgette

Novice Member
Hi all, I'm looking to upgrade my system. It's made up of a 20 year old Rega P3 and Brio with a pair of 30 year old Mission 761i (mounted on Atacama stands).

I guess that the speakers (and cables) are the component(s) which are due to be upgraded though I'd be very interested in hearing your suggestions. Given the advances in hi-fi, do you think I would be better off just starting from scratch or can I just update one or two components?

I've been looking at some floor standers (Fyne Audio F501), but concerned that my amp isn't powerful enough at 38w per channel.

The budget is £2000 and my room is 8m x 6m.

Grateful for your expertise!
 

muljao

Well-known Member
I have old stuff that sounds great. It's hard to know without hearing/seeing the gear. I can't imagine cables deteriorating if they are mostly copper. They do say that capacitors and that change so amp performance changes over time. However definitely 2k could vastly improve your setup in my opinion.

I would first look at speakers, the fyne ones are fairly sensitive so your amp should be good, however if you enjoyed missions all this time it may be an idea to stick with them because new ones should just be better sounding but from the same house sound, you shouldn't get any surprises

I also think the same about the amp, lovely rega stuff there now
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
What would be useful is any comment you may have on what you'd like to upgrade from an audio perspective. Is there anything you're unhappy with or is just a question of age. As far as stereo audio is concerned, not much has happened in the last 20 - 30 years. Cables last longer than we do so never need replacing.

The Rega P3 should be OK, just get the stylus checked. The Rega Brio may or may not be showing signs of aging, you could get it looked at, but as a first pointer, is it giving any problems or does it have a level of hum or hiss you'd not expect?

Of course with a 48m2 room, the 38W of the Brio might be factor if you're considering speakers with a low sensitivity (your Missions have a sensitivity of 90dB). However the Fyne Audio F501 also have a sensitivity of 90dB, so if your Brio can handle your Missions, it can handle the Fynes at the same volume.

If the electronics and TT are performing to their original specification, I'd suggest sinking the cash into the speakers and targeting a new, more powerful amplifier when you next have funds,
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Just to add, the P3 should be fine, no reason to upgrade, but I would stick a AT VM95ML on it and possibly look at the Michell Technoweight (assuming it has the RB300 arm and not the R200) but the latter is a final upgrade. For cables do not spend too much, speaker cable use either Van Damme Blue 2.5sq.mm or Kabeldirekt 2.5sq.mm for Amazon. For interconnectors I would use something from Fisual if you feel you want to splash out.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Hi. I auditioned the Fynes when I last changed speakers and they were my number 2 choice. They sound superb and their sensitivity means they would be fine for your amp. They're also very nicely finished and look good in the flesh.
I also agree with @Ugg10 . A cart change can have a massive difference on the sound and your budget should comfortably cover both cart and speakers. Assuming your deck is in good nick there's no reason it shouldn't go on and on.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Your budget also covers these, if you're happy to stay with standmounts? Also sensitive enough for your amp.

 

Flobs

Active Member
I'd seriously think about changing the 30 year old Brio. It might be worth getting it looked at by a professional recapped or whatever I don't know about those things. The point is if anything is going to go it's most likely the amp and for 2000 you could get a pretty nice amp or a nice amp and a sub?
 

fried courgette

Novice Member
Thanks so much for your input. I'm glad I posted as I now have some unbiased perspectives on the things I should consider:
i) audition some speakers including some Missions (thanks Muljao) and the Fine Audio f500 SP (thanks acginger snaps)
ii) ensure the amp is working to spec and perhaps get it checked over (thanks Mark)
iii) get a cartridge upgrade such as the AT95 (thanks UGG10 and acginger snaps).

Thanks again! I'm looking forward to the next 30 years of playing my tunes!
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
The budget is £2000 and my room is 8m x 6m.

That's a big room to fill - assuming you want to fill the entire room with quality audio and not just a portion of it? If you wished to fill the entire room with tonally balanced sound then even the Fyne F501 won't be large enough and you'll need more power than 38W/channel.

Can you give an idea of the size of the listening triangle, i.e. how far speakers will be spaced apart and how far away from the speakers the main listening position will be.
 

fried courgette

Novice Member
That's a big room to fill - assuming you want to fill the entire room with quality audio and not just a portion of it? If you wished to fill the entire room with tonally balanced sound then even the Fyne F501 won't be large enough and you'll need more power than 38W/channel.

Can you give an idea of the size of the listening triangle, i.e. how far speakers will be spaced apart and how far away from the speakers the main listening position will be.
Thanks for the pointer dogfonos. It is a big room at 48m2 but it also has a high ceiling at just 4m.

The speakers are currently placed about 3m apart and I tend to listen in an equilateral position from them.

The fyne audio website suggests the f502 as a starting point but unfortunately my budget doesn't stretch that far.

Any suggestions?
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Thanks for the pointer dogfonos. It is a big room at 48m2 but it also has a high ceiling at just 4m.

The speakers are currently placed about 3m apart and I tend to listen in an equilateral position from them.

The fyne audio website suggests the f502 as a starting point but unfortunately my budget doesn't stretch that far.

Any suggestions?
Firstly I'm not disagreeing with @dogfonos but things need to be taken in context. In an ideal world the fynes may not be as room filling as the best or bigger speakers. However, the fynes should be more room filling than the missions you currently own. We probably all can't get the perfect setup.

Would you consider the Dali Oberon 9s and say a Cyrus one hd, I'd imagine you'd get these for a fraction above your budget as the Cyrus is 699 in richer sounds but does open up a few modern options, the Dali's have got good reviews and are big boys
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
If you have space for Oberon 9, then you’re in for wild ride. Bit midrange, treble oriented. Nevertheless excellent speakers.

This speakers are heavy!
 

muljao

Well-known Member

 

muljao

Well-known Member

Flobs

Active Member
With that budget and size of room I'd just buy an amp. Something like the ROTEL RA-1592 MK2. Then upgrade the speakers when I can (apparently the Missions can take 200W peak).
Otherwise it's just half measures and never satisfaction.
I'd also prevaledge 8Ohm speakers with decent sensitivity when I got around to it, then again that's just me.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
If you want more mellow sound, with lots of dynamic punch. Then Monitor Audio 500 is executed choice. Can perhaps still be bought with hefty discount.
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
The fyne audio website suggests the f502 as a starting point
Experience tells me that's about right but I appreciate the cost of the F502 is prohibitive. It certainly costs far more to get tonally balanced audio in a large room, such as yours, than in a room half the size. I was going to suggest a speaker of similar size to the Fyne F502, the Focal Aria 948 but I see it's over £3k!


Interesting to note that Focal sometimes recommend a minimum room size for their speakers. For the Aria 948 they suggest a 30 sqm room as a minimum, which I think should be more like 40 -45 sqm for a speaker the size of the Aria 948. Each to their own - it's a rough guide after all.

I think the previously mentioned Dali Oberon 9 and Monitor Audio Silver 500 are a good size match for the room. I can't personally recommend any of these speakers as I haven't heard them. The only other point I'd make about listening to large speakers is that the drive units tend to be spaced further apart (on the speaker) so may warrant slightly increased listening distances (maybe 4m with the larger floorstanders - just a guess as I've never used speakers of this size).

the fynes should be more room filling than the missions you currently own
Absolutely. A pair of Fyne F501 will get much closer to a well-balanced, room-filling sound in the 48 sqm room than the Mission speakers and may well satisfy. In fact, as you've grown accustomed to the sound of the Mission speakers (you've had 30 years with them!), a more tonally balanced sound from far larger speakers may come as a shock so I'd push for a home demo (or opportunity to exchange if dissatisfied).

In terms of amplifier power, around 80 to 100 Watts RMS per channel into 8 ohms would be a sensible minimum if you like to play loud occasionally. The Yamaha AS501 would be one of the cheaper options with sufficient power though again, not a recommendation as I haven't heard it.
 

Flobs

Active Member
The NAD C388 should be available with discounts atm (destockage or sale) could be a good starting point.
 

musicphil

Active Member
Possibly upgrade your cartridge.
(The best speakers in the world cannot replace missing detail from your turntable).
And get the best speakers to fit your amp.
You need to get a home demo on the F501's which shouldn't be an issue.
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
The Rega Brio will drive any reasonably efficient speaker to moderate volumes in a large room - it's just wise not to push the volume too far. I've always used amplifiers rated at least to the speaker's max. power handling and the speakers always made it clear if I pushed them too hard so I'd back off the volume. I have no experience of using low-powered amps (relative to the speaker's max. power handling).

Purchasing a relatively powerful integrated "hifi" amplifier (i.e. 80 - 100W into 8 Ohms) doesn't come cheap. An alternative unconventional approach would be to buy a "professional" product. If you only intend to have one source (i.e. the turntable) then something like this power amp gives all the power you'll probably ever need:


(I think a forum member currently uses an A800 in their music playback system).

Couple it with a phono preamp, such as:

or
Amazon product
or
Pro-Ject sell a range of even cheaper phono preamps starting at around £50 so for under £250 you could have yourself a nice, powerful amplifier setup. Bear in mind that if you wish to add more sources later, a switch box will be required to switch between sources (widely available).
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Also of you go power amp route you need a volume control or a preamp with volume control.
 

shyman

Active Member
If you are in the East Midlands, England, Peter Swain of Cymbiosis fame would be a gentleman to speak to. He sells the Rega, and Fyne speakers and would be able to give you sound advice. The P3 might benefit from a Cartridge upgrade?
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Also of you go power amp route you need a volume control or a preamp with volume control.

Certainly would if the power amp didn't have volume control. Like quite a few pro power amps, the Behringer A800 power amp has a volume control for each channel which, afaik, ranges from silent to max. volume. Many (most?) pro power amps have active cooling (i.e. a fan) but the Behringer A800 doesn't.

If the power amp's volume controls aren't convenient, them something like this, connected between phono pre-amp and power amp, would do the trick:

or

Several other options are available.
 

Deaf Audiophile

Active Member
Hi all, I'm looking to upgrade my system. It's made up of a 20 year old Rega P3 and Brio with a pair of 30 year old Mission 761i (mounted on Atacama stands).

I guess that the speakers (and cables) are the component(s) which are due to be upgraded though I'd be very interested in hearing your suggestions. Given the advances in hi-fi, do you think I would be better off just starting from scratch or can I just update one or two components?

I've been looking at some floor standers (Fyne Audio F501), but concerned that my amp isn't powerful enough at 38w per channel.

The budget is £2000 and my room is 8m x 6m.

Grateful for your expertise!
Honestly I have just purchased the highly rated Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 anniversary bookshelf now £350 from £500 or even better the larger 606 s2 's £550 at sevenoaks & I love the styling & fantastic reviews I put them with my 2017 Rega Planar 3 & Marantz 6007 amp and was blown away at the sound & when the wife walked in she commented on the sound quality & that's never happened in 45 years. That leaves you plenty of dosh left for a new amp £500 & stands £150 of your choosing saving you £1000 for cables lol. You have lovely size lounge for hifi. Mines about 4×5 metres.You will not regret it.
 

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