What Next after Arcam and B&W

Neo4

Novice Member
Hi Everyone,
My first post here, have ben lurking in the background for a while, just joined today to post this thread and ask for your advice.
So...Ive had a Arcam alfa7 amp and cd player, connected to a B&W DM603 S1 set of speakers (biwired) for the last 20+ years. Looking to go to a completely new setup. I would like to stream (from phone mostly). Im looking for the same warm, rock sound that the arcam had with the B&W speakers.

I would really like some advice on what system I should be going for.

Thanks and have a great day!

Neo4
 

Nico72

Active Member
Welcome to the forums.
Can you give an approximate idea of budget and room size please?
 

Neo4

Novice Member
Budget is around 2K, can stretch to 2.5 if I have to, but like to keep it to 2K if I can.
Room size is - L(17 feet) X W(10 Feet).

Thanks
 

Nico72

Active Member
An integrated amp and streamer could be the place to start. There are plenty in your price range.
Audiolab 6000a play, Yamaha RN803D, Cyrus one cast, Quad Vena 2 play, Marantz PM 7000N...to pair with speakers of you choice.
Peter Tyson have a few bundle offers in your price range.
 

Neo4

Novice Member
Thanks Nico72,
If I were to be minimalist, what would you go for as an integrated amp and streamer?
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I’d forget all the old fashioned passive seperate stuff and spend your money on the magnificent.


Superb quality active speakers and all you’ll ever need.

A quick description of their capabilities here.

 

Nico72

Active Member
Thanks Nico72,
If I were to be minimalist, what would you go for as an integrated amp and streamer?
I cannot provide subjective recommendations as I have not listened to these amps. I was simply suggesting available integrated amplifier-streamer solutions.
If by 'minimalist' you mean aesthetically, then the Cyrus One wins. At the other end of the spectrum is the Yamaha. Part of the choice is to do with what speakers you would match the amp with.

Going for active speakers is another option, but I believe you will need a streamer which can work as a preamplifier with those, such as Yamaha WXC-50.
 

Neo4

Novice Member
Thanks for all your recommendations and input so far. I think I need to do a bit more reading based on what Paul7777x said above.
Thanks Silversurfer24v too, The issue here is that I havent really listened to these, so cant decide :( I guess we need to come out of lockdown so I can go listen instore somewhere!

Re Active speakers (Nico72), again good one, I didnt really consider these. Another angle to look for.

If you guys have any more suggestions, please keep them coming.

Thanks
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Thanks for all your recommendations and input so far. I think I need to do a bit more reading based on what Paul7777x said above.
Thanks Silversurfer24v too, The issue here is that I havent really listened to these, so cant decide :( I guess we need to come out of lockdown so I can go listen instore somewhere!

Re Active speakers (Nico72), again good one, I didnt really consider these. Another angle to look for.

If you guys have any more suggestions, please keep them coming.

Thanks

Ps, forgot to add that the Dynaudio Xeos have an excellent Bluetooth implementation, and that may well be all you need to stream from your phone or anything else.

Ps, I’ll try to find you some of the articles that explain the purpose and large advantages of real active speakers like the Dynaudios.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
There are less expensive ways to go for top class sound using active speakers.

But...

Frankly, if you want the best sound you’ve ever heard then a little extra on your budget will get you a pair of superb three way active speakers.

The holy grail of awesome.





In white or black. And realistically, all the speaker anyone needs.

A top class preamp streamer like this one and you’re set for twenty more years of the best your budget can possibly get.


Add a pair of these at 3m and for the price of £2100 you won’t believe the bargain you’ve bought.

 

Neo4

Novice Member
Thank you Paul7777x, this is very good info :)

I did some reading/research on the Audiolab 6000a play and cyrus one cast. Very interested, however, having had a bi-wired system previously, I wanted to keep that going in the new setup as well. These amps just have the 1 speaker output. So question is are they powerful enough to say drive a decent floor standing pair?

Cheers
 

Nico72

Active Member
Thank you Paul7777x, this is very good info :)

I did some reading/research on the Audiolab 6000a play and cyrus one cast. Very interested, however, having had a bi-wired system previously, I wanted to keep that going in the new setup as well. These amps just have the 1 speaker output. So question is are they powerful enough to say drive a decent floor standing pair?

Cheers
Bi-wiring adds nothing to sound quality.
I would not worry about it.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
And often floorstanders are easier to drive than stand mounts especially if they are true 3 ways (higher sensitivity).

Agree with bi-wire - using two sets of speaker outlets on your amp only moves the link between the treble/bass from the speaker to the amp i.e. the speaker terminals on the amp are connected inside the amp, you only have two amp channels not four. This assumes that the speaker wire is around 2.5sq.mm cross section and OFC.
 
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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Thank you Paul7777x, this is very good info :)

I did some reading/research on the Audiolab 6000a play and cyrus one cast. Very interested, however, having had a bi-wired system previously, I wanted to keep that going in the new setup as well. These amps just have the 1 speaker output. So question is are they powerful enough to say drive a decent floor standing pair?

Cheers

Bi-wiring is nonsense sir. It adds nothing at all except the price of extra wire.

Also, I find myself compelled for the last time time to mention that the likes of the Audiolab and Cyrus are decent amps, and they leave you a grand or so for passive speakers.

But the whole lot will be a feeble approximation of music in comparison to the LYD 48s or similar.

(For instance LYD 7s or the Focal Solo 6, or the Focal Shape Twins, or a pair of ADAM A77X)

Simply not the same league.
 
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TB Rich

Active Member
But the whole lot will be a feeble approximation of music in comparison to the LYD 48s or similar.

(For instance LYD 7s or the Focal Solo 6, or the Focal Shape Twins, or a pair of ADAM A77X)

Simply not the same league.

Quite the assertion there, nothing like the Hifi hobby for the hyperbolic.

Have you heard the LYD 48's and any/all of the others mentioned, and what (passive) equipment did you compare them against in listening tests?
- There's a lot of combinations of passive equipment out there..
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Quite the assertion there, nothing like the Hifi hobby for the hyperbolic.

Have you heard the LYD 48's and any/all of the others mentioned, and what (passive) equipment did you compare them against in listening tests?
- There's a lot of combinations of passive equipment out there..

There is a ton of passive stuff and several tons of active.

I have not heard the 48s.

I have heard and owned the BM range. Top class, and the LYD range is more modern and an improvement on them. As well as being a genuine three way speaker.

And an amp like the Audiolab mentioned by the op simply does not have the power or damping factor to properly control serious speakers, which, given the two grand budget, the op will be able to afford.

I have £2800 Adam Active Compacts (they are not compact) and three way AVI Trios. At the moment. Both are excellent.

I’ve found that, having owned stupid numbers of passive speakers and amps over the decades (Kef, Dynaudio, B&W, Neat... Naim, Rotel, MF, Audiolab, Yamaha, Denon, Primare...) that for any given budget, real active speakers and even a budget(+) preamp/dac will comfortably outperform any given passive set up.

And it’s hardly a surprise. The casing for an amp (as an example of extra costs for passive), especially boutique stuff is the most expensive component. There isn’t one in active speakers. Nor is there any shipping cost for a separate amp.

And the dealer mark up on hifi is massive in comparison to the larger numbers sold in pro equipment.

And, not finally, but for now, technically speaking, having each driver directly coupled to its own dedicated power amp is many times more efficient than having a generic passive amp powering through a lossy x-over.

(To use the 48s as only one example, they have a total of 360, direct coupled watts between the pair of them which, conservatively, equals about twice that of a corresponding passive amp).

The gain in total control at all frequencies and volumes is prodigious.

Again as one example of what I mean, active speakers do not lose bass control at very low volumes (useful for many people late at night for instance) and do not distort even at absurd volumes.

You should get yourself a pair of good ones on loan, assuming you have something that can be used as a preamp?

Then, allowing your brain the requisite re-calibration time, see what you think.

You could well end up with better sounding music and cash in your hand.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Ps, I may not saying actives are the only way, naturally.

(Only that for a given budget, especially at the less expensive side of hifi, they are a massive, better sounding bargain than passive set ups).

At the mo’ for instance my hifi is entirely passive, with the Trios and a Lyngdorf 1120.

And it is quite magnificent sounding. I prefer it, only just, to the 1120 driving the Adams through its preouts.

However, the three way nature of the supremely neutral AVIs is the culprit there I think.

Once I can afford Dynaudios Core 47s then that will change

Or, should I inheret, win or steal an appropriate amount of cash then it’ll be the Dynaudio XD 60s, or the Kudos 707, subject to audition (made active naturally).
 

TB Rich

Active Member
I only asked if you'd heard them and what passive setups that related to, so that's a very long way of saying no then, with no direct referenceable A/B listening sessions.

Look I don't disagree with you in principle, the production economies are very much in favour of actives (I don't need any of this regurgitating to me) so the value prop is always going to be better. The integration and packing is also in favour of actives, again agreed.
I haven't actually put my thoughts down on actives in my post, FWIW my flippant answer to 9/10 hifi questions and the answer would be KEF LS50WII !

But it is sensationalist to say a "feeble approximation of music", with £2500 at the top end of the budget you can absolutely get quality musical reproduction with passives, and the flexibility to be able to chose certain components to achieve a certain look or sound is possible.
There's also some benefits to the passive approach in that you are free to play with equipment (that's a pro/con depending on where you align with the hobby, if it even is a hobby at all and you don't just simply just want music!). Also considerations need to be given to the electronics failing inside actives (repair easily, or left with a lead weight?!), if it's a complete unit like the LS50WII too, then consideration to when apps change/lose support, when digital standards change etc etc - I'm sure you know very well the pros/cons I don't need to waffle on.
 

Neo4

Novice Member
Thanks Paul7777x, TB Rich, Ugg10 and Nico72 for your input. Lots of good info for me to digest and research.
Re bi-wiring - having had my system over the last 20 years, Im somewhat biased LOL. However, I get your points about quality of music not impacted. Im slowly coming out of my years of stuck with one system to a whole new world. I wouldn't have really thought to go with active speakers previously, but having read about them I am definitely considering them. The acid test of course is to go and listen to these and then decide.
Meantime, more reading and shortlisting. I may have questions for you guys soon.
Thanks and keep your suggestions coming.

Cheers
 

Nico72

Active Member

Neo4

Novice Member
Thanks nico72. Will review as well. This morning I had also come accross the Dali active range (calisto). Any experience with these? they are slightly over my budget, but if they sound good, then I may delay buying something quickly and save up for these.

Cheers
 

Nico72

Active Member
Talking of actives, Focal solo 6 be going for £400 with one hour to go.

 

Neo4

Novice Member
Thanks Nico72, Saw that late :(
Having said that, Im leaning towards floor standers, personal preference. Appreciate the smaller bookshelf ones will and probably will do the job, but Im finding it hard to move away from floor standers. Need something solid and stable and heavy that the kids won't be able to knock over. Have 2 that are the wrong age.
Cheers
 

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