dan-dan-dan-dan-daaaaaan

Suggestions for upgrading my equipment please

21 posts in this topic

Hi

This is my first post on the forum so I hope this is the appropriate place for this. My hifi setup is about ten years old now and due for a bit of a refresh. It was also far from top of the line when it was purchased. I'm not very flash or gadgety, I'm not particularly rich, and I want something that gives me good sounding audio for frequent listening without costing too much or looking too fancy.

I still listen almost exclusively to CDs, no radio, no vinyl, no PC FLAC-type magic. I am am just looking for suggestions on how I could best refresh or improve this system on a tight budget please if anyone can make any suggestions.

My current setup is:

Rotel 965BX CD Player (used just as a transport)

MSB Link III DAC

Rotel 971 Preamp (4 RCA outs)

2 x Rotel 981 Stereo Power Amps (one per speaker)

2 x Biwired Tannoy R2 Floorstander Speakers, open ports

My only current complaints really are:

1. The bass doesn't extend down low enough which is annoying on some tracks where you know there is more bass there. I'm guessing this is because I have only tweeters and mids in my speaker setup.

2. There is a slight channel imbalance at low volumes which again is a bit annoying when you can hear it.

2. Overall the sound isn't the last word in clarity which I would like to improve on if possible.

I have no idea what would be the weakpoint in my current system or where my money would be best spent improving it, so throwing it open to any suggestions.

Cheers

Dan

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I'd change the speakers. The imbalance could be the response of the 2 amps. Is it the same if you run the speakers off one amp.

How tight is your budget?

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Welcome to the Wigwam Dan.

I am not familiar with your kit,but maybe the amp & speakers would be worth looking at first.I know you say the budget is tight,have you a rough figure in mind?

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Hi, thanks for the number of replies already, I wasn't expecting responses so fast. In response to your questions, I am aware this kit is getting on a bit so you might not be familiar with it. The R2s speakers you can see the specifications of here - http://www.superfi.co.uk/P-4183-discontinued-tannoy-revolution-r2-speakers-pair.aspx. They were fairly good speakers for the price when I bought them but they were only £250 or so and that was ten years ago. The power amps you can see basic specs here - http://www.superfi.co.uk/P-4144-discontinued-rotel-rb981-power-amp.aspx.

I haven't tried running off just one amp and seeing if the balance goes away, I will try that, but it seems to occur only at low volumes so I was assuming it was a preamp issue.

With regards to my budget, I can probably only spend £300 to £500 depending on how much I could sell the R2 speakers for (or whatever component I replaced), and I would only want to spend that much if I was able to hear a good improvement for the money spent. I'm just not sure - are £300-£400 speakers of today noticeably better sounding than £250 speakers from 10 years ago for example? It sounds like the consensus is that the money should go on the speakers though. If so, what would some likely candidates I should try and look into please if I wanted to ensure I got both a sound quality improvement plus an extension of the bass into lower frequencies than the R2s can deliver?

Thanks for the help!

Dan

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If you want low end bass then you will really need some big cone speakers. Tannoy Monitor Golds in 10, 12, or 15". These have very good detail in the top end without edginess. The bass if they are in a decent design and large enough cabinet would astound you. The thump of the bass drum is there in clarity and thump. It amazed me just what a difference they made from my old 6"driver speakers. They do come up on the bay but you have to pay a premium.

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Thanks for the suggestion, I'll have a look into those. I don't want to give the impression I want headache bass or I sit listening to drum and bass or anything, I just enjpy all music more with a really good low bass, and it annoys me when I have heard some tracks elsewhere with the full range and then have to listen to it without on my own system. It just seems to make a big different for me and is the thing that has most bothered me about my system over the years. I don't necessarily want the low fequencies loud, I just want them to be there, if you know what I mean.

EDIT: just googled, those are just plain too expensive for my tastes and they look to be out pf production and only available second hand in which case I wouldn't be able to trial them or listen to them before buying them, so I don't think those are suitable for me I'm afraid.

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Definately need new speakers. With your budget I think you're best going the secondhand route. You could get a great pair for £500, many Wammers could suggest floorstanders with deep bass for that price. I can't though, not really my area of interest.

I think I'd also want to reduce the box count. Transport, DAC, pre, monos - quite complicated. Maybe consider having a total clearout and getting a new CD player and integrated amp from eg. Cambridge Audio. (after you sort the speakers that is).

Welcome to the Wam Dan! :^

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Dan,if you can wait a few months,why not come along to the Hifi Wigwam show at Scalford?

You would hear 50 or so systems,all very different,but all put together with thought.Would be a great way to hear a lot of different approaches to a system.

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Flog your speakers pre-amp and power amps.

Add the £500 you were going to spend.

Buy a decent 2nd hand integrated and you should be left with enough for some good 2nd hand speakers.

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If you are after those lower octaves you could always add a sub. If you live in a flat, this could be more preferable as you are able to tune the sub volume so you can hear it and not annoy the neighbours. Also, sometimes a sub can be a pain to integrate with the main speakers.

Full range speakers are my preference but I will have to wait until I live in a proppa house. For now, my sub fills in the lower registers.

Best of luck, Lee

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a floorstander i owned and thought very good for the money are a e alite 3s they will give you the bass and lots more besides, ae sell direct from the factory, or did have a look into them :^

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Hi

This is my first post on the forum so I hope this is the appropriate place for this. My hifi setup is about ten years old now and due for a bit of a refresh. It was also far from top of the line when it was purchased. I'm not very flash or gadgety, I'm not particularly rich, and I want something that gives me good sounding audio for frequent listening without costing too much or looking too fancy.

I still listen almost exclusively to CDs, no radio, no vinyl, no PC FLAC-type magic. I am am just looking for suggestions on how I could best refresh or improve this system on a tight budget please if anyone can make any suggestions.

My current setup is:

Rotel 965BX CD Player (used just as a transport)

MSB Link III DAC

Rotel 971 Preamp (4 RCA outs)

2 x Rotel 981 Stereo Power Amps (one per speaker)

2 x Biwired Tannoy R2 Floorstander Speakers, open ports

My only current complaints really are:

1. The bass doesn't extend down low enough which is annoying on some tracks where you know there is more bass there. I'm guessing this is because I have only tweeters and mids in my speaker setup.

2. There is a slight channel imbalance at low volumes which again is a bit annoying when you can hear it.

2. Overall the sound isn't the last word in clarity which I would like to improve on if possible.

I have no idea what would be the weakpoint in my current system or where my money would be best spent improving it, so throwing it open to any suggestions.

Cheers

Dan

Dan,

I run a 965BX CDP and a 930AX integrated amp and have just bought some Tannoy Cheviots. They go far deeper than my old Gales (which had 2x4" ish drivers and ports) and the wee Rotel drives them easily. Worth a look and bob-on your £500 budget. If you're in the North West you're welcome to pop round for a listen - pm me.

Paul

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