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AD18

Novice Member
Hi all,

First post so bear with me if I'm a little slow as I'm fairly new to all of this!

About a year ago I picked up a pair of B&W CM10S2 speakers due to them being left over stock, always wanted to have a nice Hi-Fi set up and planned to add bits to it as time goes on.

I'd like to connect the speakers to the TV, PS4 and for music its likely going to be something like Spotify which I would like to stream via say AirPlay. This led me to look at AV receivers, but just to get me started I bought a cheap receiver, Pioneer VSX-831 VSX-831 - 5.2-Channel AV Receiver with MCACC®, built-in Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi®

I realise its nothing special but I'm only a fairly recent University graduate so don't have tonnes to spend in one go but can easily save up for something slightly more high end. Needless to say, I'm not all that impressed with the sound coming out of the speakers, it doesn't sound like anything special currently, all a bit flat. In an audio shop I listened to the smaller 704S2 paired to a Naim Atom which did sound a lot better, I believe my speakers should have no problem out-performing these smaller ones if paired to something decent. This is where I'd like your help!

I've tried trawling through various forums but its all a bit complicated for me and everyone has their own opinion on what's best.
Some models suggested are Classe, Krell, McIntosh...a quick look at a McIntosh showed it costs £18k, way out my price range. I'd look for something at around £1k or less (unless someone advises its worth going for something higher in price which I'm open to, its only a rough budget), maybe an older higher end AVR which I can pick up cheaper now?
Also, I read that those who wish to pursue the best out of their speakers don't go for AVR and dedicated amps are much better, is this true? I.e. setting up their systems to play music, not play games from a console etc.

Any suggestions/pointers will be very welcome. I look forward to learning more about the world of high end audio

Many thanks
AD
 
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BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Personally, I would go with Stereo. There are Stereo Amps/Receivers that have Network Streaming built in. Here is one example -

Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver, 80w/ch, Network Streaming, Phono-In, Sub-Out, DAC (2xOptical, 2xCoaxial, 1xUSB-Media) - £330 -

Yamaha RN602 Networked Stereo Receiver - Superfi

R-N602 - Overview - HiFi Components - Audio & Visual - Products - Yamaha - UK and Ireland

If you want to take it one higher, and just a bit over the implied budget, then -

Yamaha RN803, DAB/DAB+, 100w/ch, Network Streaming, Room EQ, Full Bass Management, DAC (2xOptical, 2xCoaxial, 1xUSB-Media) - £570 -

https://petertyson.co.uk/yamaha-r-n803d-network-amplifier

MusicCast R-N803D - Overview - Yamaha - UK and Ireland

If at some point you intend to add a Subwoofer, then the RN803 with Full Bass Management is an advantage.

It is always Dicey trying to choose between Stereo and Surround Sound. There is no one absolute answer. Each individual has to decide for himself.

But I have a formula, and it works well for me.

If you want a Music System, then get a Music System, meaning a Stereo. It will still work well for Movies.

If you want a Movie System, then get a Movie System, meaning Surround Sound. It will still play Music.


Each will do the other, but each will do what it does best.

Steve/bluewizard
 

gibbsy

Moderator
As a rule and unless you go for the expensive option of Arcam receivers a good stereo amp will easily out perform an AVR. By using an AVR with the CM10s you are really putting diesel in a Ferarri engine.

First thing to sort out is budget. Do you require the amp to have it's own DAC or are you just happy for a pure analogue amp.

Plenty of good amps available but the more powerful ones to tend to have a minimum price tag attached to them.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
@gibbsy He will likely want a dac for airplay, tv etc.

To op, as said above, a stereo amplifier will be better for 2 channel sound. avr's tend to use cheaper components and amplifiers compared to stereo amps.

the yammys listed above are good for the money and can manage your tv, spotify etc; but as stated, budget is important.

what size room and is s/h an option for you??
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I’d forget all the AV stuff and go for a big, competent power amp and a good preamp/streamer.

One of these is probably the best power/control/current happy pound for pound power amp around for your budget.

It should go for less than £600. And it will get a solid grip of your speakers.

Quad Stereo 909 Power Amplifier 5025941073185 | eBay

Then add one of these and you’re good to go.

Yamaha WXC50

A good quality dac/preamp/streamer for a bargain price.

Tv in through the optical, PS4 through the analogue (or an inexpensive optical splitter) and Spotify either through the Spotify app or through Airplay should you wish.

This the simplest, least expensive way I can think of for getting a top class sound quality from your speakers.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Ps, the WXC-50 is at least on a par with the Pioneer as a preamp. At least.

And the Quad is massively more powerful than the Pioneer which offers a modest 80W into two channels and, I’d imagine, not much more for dynamic peaks.

The 909 offers 140W into each channel at 8 ohms and 225W into 4 ohms, plus much more than ‘adequate’ current into just about every conceivable combination of low Ohm speaker/music requirement your likely to see.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
And... when you’ve saved enough then I’d keep the WXC as your streamer and buy the base model of this.

TDAI-2170 | Lyngdorf Audio

The RoomPerfect DSP will transform your speakers into the best they can be.

£2800... so a bit of saving to do before then.
 

AD18

Novice Member
Hi All,

Many thanks for your responses, they've been very helpful.

I agree that the stereo route is the best and likely intended way to go, I won't be looking to create a surround sound set up with these but I would somewhere down the line add a subwoofer (unless the amp I end up with drives the speakers enough and creates enough bass which I've heard these speakers can do). I listened to the Rel T5i and liked the sound of that but won't get something like that straight away, I want to get this amp sorted first.

I think the speakers would mostly be used for tv, PS4 and streaming music/movie via a streaming stick or other means. It actually would be good to attach a CD player as my Dad would probably want to use them as well (and he has the CDs and Vinyls rather than me!). If its necessary to have a DAC within the system for this then yes but I don't really have the experience to make that call (i'm still getting to grips with all these acronyms and their purpose).

So just as an FYI, I bought the Pioneer amp for £280 at the time, I didn't realise it is now discontinued. As I don't think its particularly good at driving these speakers I'd happily spend £500 on a new amp if its better but if you all think its better to spend nearer the £1000 mark then I'd be open to that if there will be a noticeable improvement. I understand this would be one of the important parts of the system so if it means spending more then so be it. Over £1000 I'd not be so keen. Its always possible to improve bits later on with newer equipment once I've saved more (thanks Paul for the suggestions).

Is it important to look at the amount of Watts these amps provide? I've attached the spec sheet for the speakers..."Recommended Amplifier Power...30W-300W into 8 Ohm on unclipped program".

Many thanks again.
 

Attachments

  • CM10 S2 InfoSheet.pdf
    1.3 MB · Views: 333
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gibbsy

Moderator
Don't worry about the 30-300w figures, manufacturers seem to love putting them on a sticker. It's the sensitivity that's the most important. I would be looking to drive them with at least 70 watts per channel into the 8 ohms and would also say that you should aim to spend £1000 as these excellent speakers need some good amplification.

I'm a Rega fan and although I would really suggest the Elicit-R that is above your budget but the Elex-R is no slouch.
 

AD18

Novice Member
Ok, so I see I've got some choices from Yamaha and the Rega Elicit-R. Any other options for me to consider with the slightly higher budget of £500-1000?

One thing I don't understand is how everything is going to connect to the stereo amp. I notice they don't have multiple HDMI inputs like AV receivers. If i have a TV, PS4 and say a streaming stick are there other ways to connect all these or do I need another piece of hardware?
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
... however, for the quality of your speakers I’d still recommend used for an amp.

If the Quad above doesn’t appeal then one of these will be all you really need, ever.

Meridian 557 Stereo Power Amplifier | eBay

Meridian 557 Stereo Power Amplifier | eBay

All the power and finesse you’ll ever need.

Add one of these and you’re good to go for exceptional sound. Streamer included.

Yamaha WXC50

Or, a pair of mono blocks of equally excellent quality.

Meridian 505 Stereo Power Amplifier x2 | eBay
 

AD18

Novice Member
... however, for the quality of your speakers I’d still recommend used for an amp.

If the Quad above doesn’t appeal then one of these will be all you really need, ever.

Meridian 557 Stereo Power Amplifier | eBay

Meridian 557 Stereo Power Amplifier | eBay

All the power and finesse you’ll ever need.

Add one of these and you’re good to go for exceptional sound. Streamer included.

Yamaha WXC50

Or, a pair of mono blocks of equally excellent quality.

Meridian 505 Stereo Power Amplifier x2 | eBay


Hi Paul,

Thats brilliant, thanks for the suggestions, I'm starting to see how it'll all piece together.

I am definitely not discounting purchasing something used so the Meridian suggestions are definitely helpful, didn't think something from a brand like that would be within the budget, even used.
Would there be any reason to go for something brand new over say the Meridian suggestions? Comparing both, even if the Meridian is older, is it still considered far superior to new products in the sub £1k price range?

Cheers!
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
The reason I mention the big Meridians is there utterly effortless power delivery. They will drive anything even remotely reasonable entirely stress free.

There are lots of amps capable of doing so, but the Meridians are relatively inexpensive in that class.

Being Meridian they are also very well designed and built.

The only reason for buying brand new is the guarantee. But there is nothing new, in that price range, that can match what the Meridians offer.

And your speakers will certainly benefit from something of the Meridians calibre.

It would not be impossible to buy a ‘new’ amp for the BWs at your budget, but it would be a compromise, and they really do deserve (and require) something of considerable substance.
 

AD18

Novice Member
The reason I mention the big Meridians is there utterly effortless power delivery. They will drive anything even remotely reasonable entirely stress free.

There are lots of amps capable of doing so, but the Meridians are relatively inexpensive in that class.

Being Meridian they are also very well designed and built.

The only reason for buying brand new is the guarantee. But there is nothing new, in that price range, that can match what the Meridians offer.

And your speakers will certainly benefit from something of the Meridians calibre.

It would not be impossible to buy a ‘new’ amp for the BWs at your budget, but it would be a compromise, and they really do deserve (and require) something of considerable substance.

While I'm on the lookout for an amp like this, are there any other brands to look out for which would have been competitors to the Meridian at the time it was released or be equally as good? Would something like a used Rotel be an option? Gives a bit more option in case at the time of purchase one is limited with what's available.
 

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