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sam-michaels

7 year old separates need updating

14 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

This is my first post, thanks for having me on here. I would be grateful for some advice. I bought my separates in 2000 and have been very happy with them. The components were:

Arcam 7SE Cd player

Rotel RC-972 Pre-amp

Rotel RB-981 Power-amp

Denon CDR-W1500 Cd recorder

B&W DM 603 S2 Floorstanders

Pioneer CT-S430S Cassette Deck

Denon TU-260L II Tuner

Technics SL-1200 MK2 Turntables (x2)

Technics SHEX 1200 2 Channel Mixer (Recently changed to Allen and Heath Xone 92)

I suppose I was using 2 pre-amps together with the technics mixer and the rotel pre-amp, but it actually sounded better that way because i felt the mixer was very basic for sound quality. I was happily listening away until I recently decided to upgrade my mixer to the Allen and Heath Xone 92 (6 channel mixer).....the sound is now much better!.......but I was stupidly continuing to use the rotel pre-amp when this is no longer necesary. I am now keen to upgrade some of the other components to complement the potential of the mixer, and because my budget has gone up in the past 7 years!

I am keen to find out:

1) A good choice of power-amp to complement the A&H mixer (budget up to GBP 1000)

2) Which speakers will give me more clarity rather than just the muscle I have with the B&Ws. I also have no idea if floorstanders or stand mounted will be better? (budget up to GBP 2000)

3) Any other suggestions with the other separates I have which could be changed to better my sound quality

4) The best way to sell/exchange what I already have when it comes to buying new equipment

I listen to a wide variety of music.......rock/ambient drum and bass/uk garage/soul/jazz.....which makes things more difficult! The set-up is in my lounge and I like the music to fill the room, but I feel a degree of clarity is lacking despite the power it delivers.

Apologies for the long message.......I would be most grateful for any advice!

Kind Regards,

Sam

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Get another RB981, bridge and monoblock. Speakers are another matter. However I really think with your kit you should be looking at Yamaha NS1000(M) territory.

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Cable Monkey wrote:

Get another RB981, bridge and monoblock. Speakers are another matter.

+1, good idea

Speakers are deeply personal and room dependent, but at your budget you will find it easy to get dealers to spend time with you. My first call in your position would be to look up local dealers and listen to at least 3 or 4 different floorstanders at your budget; report back your preferences and we can come up with further choices like what you preferred.

Adam

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sam-michaels wrote:

Everything routed through the A&H mixer..........is this wrong?

If you're looking for serious hifi sound you'll probably get better results without an in-line mixer, just using a pre-amp as switcher/volume..

However, if you're after an entertaining system based on the A&H with everything going into it (i.e ditch the pre), stick a Crown or Hafler power amp on the mixer out, then stick the power into a pair of Cerwin Vegas or Klipschorns...

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AmDismal wrote:

My first call in your position would be to look up local dealers and listen to at least 3 or 4 different floorstanders at your budget; report back your preferences and we can come up with further choices like what you preferred

Thank u Adam and for everyone's replies.......there is so much to choose, will give a few a listen and report back. I have to admit I like the look of the monitor audio floorstanders.....the platinum range is a bit out of my reach, but not sure how reputable they are? Anyone own any MA speakers?

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sam-michaels wrote:

Anyone own any MA speakers?

I do (GS10s from the range below the platinums) - though some on this forum might be a mite disparaging about them ;) Some say that they (MAs in general) sound bright (even harsh?), though given that they are a passive component in that you only get out what you put in or less, perhaps they (the speakers that is) are being very honest. I find them to be well balanced, provide a wide and deep soundstage and they go surprisingly deep. They are also very well controlled at lower volumes - assuming you like your neighbours :D - unlike equivalent models such as the Dynaudio Focus 110 which (although it is an excellent speaker and one I would love to own if conditions permitted) require quite hard driving to stop the bass from sounding mushy/flabby :zip:

Just my opinions though. :brick:

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Thanks for your feedback.......i have been researching and feel Linn suits my system, especially the A&H mixer, although the options are nearly endless and become a bit confusing.

My question now is do I go for one power amp (eg Linn Klimax Chakra 500) or 2 power amps and monoblock (2 Linn Klouts)?

Not sure i completely understand the merits of bridge and monoblock, advice would be much appreciated.

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sam-michaels wrote:

Thanks for your feedback.......i have been researching and feel Linn suits my system, especially the A&H mixer, although the options are nearly endless and become a bit confusing.

My question now is do I go for one power amp (eg Linn Klimax Chakra 500) or 2 power amps and monoblock (2 Linn Klouts)?

Not sure i completely understand the merits of bridge and monoblock, advice would be much appreciated.

Sttttttttttttop !!!!!!

Sam upgrade your speakers mate. Before you try anything like changing PAs = the 981 is a fantastic power amp, Talking about 603s (no offence dude) with Klouts/Chakra etc looks severly unbalanced to me. Go and have a listen to some Dynaudio/Spendor/Neats/PMC being driven by your RB-981. Also try a new pre at that point you may be surprised the effect.

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cjr wrote:

Sttttttttttttop !!!!!!

Sam upgrade your speakers mate. Before you try anything like changing PAs = the 981 is a fantastic power amp, Talking about 603s (no offence dude) with Klouts/Chakra etc looks severly unbalanced to me. Go and have a listen to some Dynaudio/Spendor/Neats/PMC being driven by your RB-981. Also try a new pre at that point you may be surprised the effect.

Sorry mate.......should have also said that the B&Ws will be the first to exit the set up! I'm swayed by the dynaudio audience 82 floorstanders......may lack some clarity but well suited to the kind of music I listen to. Not keen on my arcam cd player......but haven't listenened to enough alternatives to be sure yet. Should I keep the rotel power amp if I'm making these changes?

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Sam do a search on the forum for Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk IIs. Plenty of reading, £750 will secure a pair, I would still get them in prior to the Linn amps you are considering, get the speakers and try and tailor your system to suit them, you may find the 981 owrks very well with them. The 1.8 IIs are in a different league to the 82s IMHO. Also consider other floorers ie like Spendor/PMC/Neats, I have really liked Rotel PAs every time I have heard them. Re. your CDP, if your considering changing the CDP, why not kill 2 birds with one stone, ie consider a DAC with pre-amp or a Digital Pre-amp with, then run to your Rotel. There are plenty about at a few price levels.

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cjr wrote:

Sam do a search on the forum for Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk IIs. Plenty of reading, £750 will secure a pair, I would still get them in prior to the Linn amps you are considering, get the speakers and try and tailor your system to suit them, you may find the 981 owrks very well with them. The 1.8 IIs are in a different league to the 82s IMHO. Also consider other floorers ie like Spendor/PMC/Neats, I have really liked Rotel PAs every time I have heard them. Re. your CDP, if your considering changing the CDP, why not kill 2 birds with one stone, ie consider a DAC with pre-amp or a Digital Pre-amp with, then run to your Rotel. There are plenty about at a few price levels.

:goodone:Contour 1.8 MkII's are very good indeed, and they synergise beautifully with big Rotel power amps. The combination is quite laid-back, so a livelier CD player than Arcam (ie pretty much anything else) might be a good idea. :)

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