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doctorjuggles

Time to build a system rather than 3 good parts

33 posts in this topic

Right. Ignore everything in my profile except for the Resolution Audio Opus 21 CDP. The PMCs are currently doing duty in my AV rig. The Roksan is too harsh for my tastes and I currently have some MA Radius 90s hooked up to the stereo rig!!! :oops:

It's time for me to start building a system. I love the Opus21 so that's staying.

I'm going to start with the speakers, but will upgrade the amp in time too, so I'm looking for something which willcompliment each other in the amp/speaker fields.

I like a bit of an all-round system, because my tastes range everywhere in the spectrum. Given the choice between a slightly warm or a slightly cold sound, I'd always choose the warmer sound, but at the same time, I hate a flabby, overly bassy sound. Basically, neutral to neutral/warm.

I love a fluid, smooth presentation while still maitaining enough excitement in the music and the one and only thing I absolutely cannot tolerate is a harsh top end. Does my head in and hurts my ears and brain. I've been impressed with ribbon tweeters in this regard, but it's not an essential requirement by any means.

Pricing - well I'd like to try and make sure the quality of the CDP isn't being destroyed by poor partnering equipment.

I'll be buying second hand, and these are the second hand prices (so probably double-ish at retail)

Probably looking at roughly £1k for each component. Can move upwards for the right product. Amp and speaker suggestions sought, but the first purchase will be speakers.

Floor or standmounts, doesn't bother me either way.

What have you got to tell me, Wammers?

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doctorjuggles wrote

I love a fluid, smooth presentation while still maitaining enough excitement in the music and the one and only thing I absolutely cannot tolerate is a harsh top end. Does my head in and hurts my ears and brain.

Have you concidered a valve amp ? , sounds like it might just fit the bill .

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early wrote:

Have you concidered a valve amp ? , sounds like it might just fit the bill .

I've owned a couple of valve headphone amps before, and my experience has been that one has been superb (and is my current reference headphone amp,) the other was so bad I'd rather have listened to the music through the speakers of a mobile phone. But I'm open to all suggestions.

To give an idea of what I've enjoyed so far -

Speakers:

Totem Arro (although a bit below the range I'm looking at) for it's absolutely gorgeous midrange.

PMC EB1+ (good all round speaker, although a little out of my price range)

Ars Aures (most of their stuff for soundstage/realism)

Unfortunately, most speakers I've heard have been either bottom end or out of my price range.

I have little experience in amp swapping. The speakers need to be my own reference before I can start telling the difference between amps, but I was impressed with the MacIntosh room when I heard it. BelCanto seem pretty useful, as did a pair of NuForce 'digital' amps I once heard, although both the BelCantos and the NuForce could be too easily pushed into harsh territory with the wrong CD, so it's probably not the ideal all-rounder I'm looking for.

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Totem arro are superb, i think amp matching maybe paramount tho.

consider some of the older Ruark Range as they are silly good for the money you can get them and work with lower power amps well. if midrange is king they do it superbly...and i have owned & loved Arros. but i am listening to some old Talismans at the mo (bought just out of rose tinted interest of days gone by) the mid is so well projected and free from the rest of the music without sounding detached if that makes sense. very lucid & effortless.

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I would suggest an amplifier that says Sugden on the front, and some spendors, S5e or S6. Should cover your requirements.

Any thing from Totem usually sounds good with Rega amps driving it I'm told.

At the mo max have some vienna bach grands and a suggy A21SE in the bargain section they may do a deal on.

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yep, Living voices from my experience so far have quite a sweet top end. they dont jump out you to say how good they are tho.They have a strangely `normal' presentation..i cant describe it, its not fireworks nad all that hifi out of the box and in the room malarkey but for some reason it sounds `right'. i dont think that a Sugden a21a is a good match for them tho. bit too much of a similar presentation. i know Kevin of Living Voice & Definitive sells the a21a as a Solid state alternative to go with the LV's but i found the combo a bit dull altho both items are great in their own right with other better matched kit.

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Bourney wrote:

yep, Living voices from my experience so far have quite a sweet top end. they dont jump out you to say how good they are tho.They have a strangely `normal' presentation..i cant describe it, its not fireworks nad all that hifi out of the box and in the room malarkey but for some reason it sounds `right'. i dont think that a Sugden a21a is a good match for them tho. bit too much of a similar presentation. i know Kevin of Living Voice & Definitive sells the a21a as a Solid state alternative to go with the LV's but i found the combo a bit dull altho both items are great in their own right with other better matched kit.

Bourney - I also tried the A21 when I had my Auditoriums and I agree it was not impressive - dull and flabby is how I described it to Kevin (he seemed to think it was a bit bright).

I actually had a lot of fun using mine with some old Musical Fidelity MA50 monoblocs fed direct from my Wadia - really good synergy.:)

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I'm sure I saw some wilson Benesh Arc's in the classifieds - would these be a good match as I've never heard a bad word about them (secretly always wanted to own a set).

EDIT: Here you go:

http://www.hifiwigwam.com/view_topic.php?id=30602&forum_id=5

:)

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dudywoxer wrote:

I

Any thing from Totem usually sounds good with Rega amps driving it I'm told.

At the Bristol show this year I heard a pair of Totems behind a Rega P3 and Rega integrated - one of the few things on the day that made a really decent sound.

Strat

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unclepuncle wrote:

Bourney wrote:
yep, Living voices from my experience so far have quite a sweet top end. they dont jump out you to say how good they are tho.They have a strangely `normal' presentation..i cant describe it, its not fireworks nad all that hifi out of the box and in the room malarkey but for some reason it sounds `right'. i dont think that a Sugden a21a is a good match for them tho. bit too much of a similar presentation. i know Kevin of Living Voice & Definitive sells the a21a as a Solid state alternative to go with the LV's but i found the combo a bit dull altho both items are great in their own right with other better matched kit.

Bourney - I also tried the A21 when I had my Auditoriums and I agree it was not impressive - dull and flabby is how I described it to Kevin (he seemed to think it was a bit bright).

I actually had a lot of fun using mine with some old Musical Fidelity MA50 monoblocs fed direct from my Wadia - really good synergy.:)

i agree with you but one thing i would note, the Sugden sounded better than the puresound A30 thro the LV's at Definitive..even Kevin said it sounded like `swordfighting' :D

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I also tried the Masterclass Stereo power amp at home and heard the Masterclass integrated at Definitve with my Avatars and was very unimpressed. Kevin agreed and thought you had to go to the Masterclass monoblocs to get it sounding right:shock:.

When we swapped the Sugden integrated for a Canary valve amp the speakers were transformed:D

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