Sotosound

Wammer
  • Content Count

    118
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21 Excellent

About Sotosound

  • Rank
    Wammer
  • Birthday Private

Personal Info

  • Location
    Aylesbury
  • Real Name
    Ian Shepherd

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    Thorens TD 166 Mk VI
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    RB250, Goldring 1042
  • SUT / Phono Stage
    Inbuilt Croft RIAA
  • Digital Source 1
    Rega Saturn
  • Digital Source 2
    Rotel RCD 965BX LE
  • Pre-Amp
    Croft Micro 25
  • Power Amp/s
    Croft Series 7 90W/c
  • My Speakers
    Russell K Red 150
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. Sotosound

    Nad M10

    And they sound good. I also have a pair of Russell K Red 150s, and they’re really good at communicating music and emotion.
  2. Sotosound

    Blank Canvas

    Sorry for coming to this thread a bit late in the day. Firstly, my musical tastes are very wide, and take in soul, rock, big band, easy listening, classical, AOR, etc. etc. My system therefore has to be good at everything from Motörhead to Marvin Gaye to Mendelssohn, and from Slade to SOS Band to Sinatra. For all of this, I have Croft amplification driving Russell K Red 150s, and it’s a wonderful combination. The Red 150s aren’t super-efficient, however, so a standard Croft set-up might struggle if you like to go really loud. However, your room is smaller than mine, so it might be fine. My Croft set-up is: - 1)A Micro 25 preamp with built-in phono preamp, modified to have a single motorised volume control and a separate balance control, plus a mono switch for, amongst other reasons, my old mono vinyl. 2) A Series 7 power amp, modified by Glenn Croft to give ~ 90W/channel. This has left me in a very nice place. In terms of amplification, I would consider going for ‘vanilla’ Croft separates to give you maximum upgrade potential and take it from there. If vinyl isn’t essential on day 1, then get a line-only Micro 25, for instance. I suggest separates because two small boxes offer more room for enlarged power supplies and additional circuitry etc. than one small and tightly packed box. From my perspective, Croft is superb sounding kit and also excellent value for money. That, plus cables and interconnects will probably eat up half of your budget unless you can buy used. As for speakers, you really need to do some home auditioning. You might even want to try Russell K Red 120s, since they might better suit the size of your room. At a lower budget, you might want to try Heco Elementa 300 or 700 speakers. I’m suggesting these because my local dealer, Deco Audio, stocks them, because they tend to stock items that they really like and because they look for products that offer good musicality, communication and timing. The Heco speakers are also more efficient, and will be more easily driven by 45W/channel. By the way, Red 150s are available at excellent prices right now because the replacement SE version is about to land at an eye watering price. If you can get some ex-demo ones then they’ll also have been run in, which is never a bad thing. Additionally, the Red 150s might be lifelong keepers since they will probably far survive more upgrades to other parts of the system than lesser speakers. Regarding streaming, I have a Bluesound Vault 2, which is a Node 2 with the added ability to rip to its own internal 2TB NAS (network attached storage) drive, and it sounds good on it’s own, but even better when played through an external DAC. I now use an Audio Note DAC 0.1x and it’s superb, BUT you need not buy that on day 1. Your challenge is your budget, and £4,000 means that you can’t have it all on Day 1, but if you buy wisely then you’ll buy kit that’s either upgradeable or that sells well used, thus reducing your overall outlay. Finally, I would strongly suggest home auditioning, especially for the speakers, since all speakers have their own individual character, as do your room and your ears.
  3. Sotosound

    What to upgrade first?

    I have the TV between my speakers as well, so I'll have to try the blanket some time soon. My own favoured sound enhancers are red wine and beer, but not during the same evening, since the resultant noises sound a bit like calling out for Huey and Ralph.
  4. Sotosound

    What to upgrade first?

    I’d agree. I think that you could seriously improve the sound that way. The only question then is which speakers, and there will be hundreds of options open to you. Sheesh!
  5. Sotosound

    Is a DAC upgrade worth it?

    That’ll get you an Audio Note DAC 0.1x, which is what I’ve just purchased. I really love it, but let your own ears do the talking.
  6. So... my wife has gone to the theatre and I'm alone on a Saturday afternoon with a little time on my hands. Time to have a listen to some loud music without anyone interrupting. Amongst others, I listened to Led Zeppelin, Motorhead, AC/DC, ZZ Top, The Temptations, The Village People, Zucchero, Bryan Ferry, Trammps and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. And I worked out that my stereo goes mighty loud but doesn't overload the mid-range to the point of shouting. Therefore it's never harsh, but some nerve endings in my head are saying "Ouch! That hurts! Turn it down!" In terms of clarity, it's good, and I wonder if, perhaps, my ears are eventually going into distortion. (Is that possible if I'm getting to the point that it hurts?) And when I play "Baila Morena" by Zucchero, I can feel the bass as much as I can hear it. It's like a double assault. Audible bass running along the floor and up to my lugholes, and physical waves hitting my chest. My conclusions are: - I need some quality time with my gear from time to time. Trying to work something out in the middle of a party isn't a good idea. My nerve endings tell me that more volume than what I have would simply damage my ears. (They're already hissing and ringing slightly, just as they used to at the end of a gig when I was a mobile DJ. And I was stood behind the speakers at gigs!!! My gear was just 100W per channel so I hate to think how massively efficient the speakers were.) It's possible that my ears go into distortion. (Is there a way of measuring sensitivity, frequency response characteristics, musicality, analyticality (is that a word?) etc. of one's ears, by the way? Are some of us born with mellow, jazz-friendly ears and are other born with grunge-friendly ears? Metallised ceramic or Kevlar eardrums, anyone? ) I could get some speakers that have a more prominent mid-range and that get more shouty when the volume goes up, but why bother when all I'll say is "That's loud." and then want to turn the volume down? Any uncertainties or anxieties regarding Russell K and Glenn Croft are unfounded. (Sorry, guys!) It's time to stop worrying and start enjoying the music. Finally, many thanks to those who''ve tried to help me.
  7. I'll have a look. Many thanks.
  8. Many thanks. I'm loathe to swap the Russell Ks at this time after all of the trouble I had choosing them in the first place and also considering the additional cost. So a pair of party speakers could be an option but perhaps I need to do a little more critical listening first to work out whether or not I'm misinforming myself.
  9. Another interesting option. Many thanks.
  10. Now that's worth a punt. Many thanks.
  11. An update. Today I had a chat with my local dealer (Peter at Deco Audio), and he suggested that I should have an amp that serves me 99% of the time rather than 1% of the time. (Wise words.) He also talked about some people who have a "party amp" that they wheel out when volume is more important than quality. Whilst chatting with him I also worked out that perhaps my amp is playing louder than I think it is due to lower distortion than one might expect when playing really loud. This might be true. What I therefore need to do is to play it as loud as it will go without appearing to lose quality and then try to talk to my wife and see if she can hear me without me shouting. Additionally, I need to step out of the lounge and see how loud it sounds around the rest of the house which, fortunately, is detached.Then I might have something solid to think about.
  12. Sotosound

    New Preamp, Croft or Tron?

    Hi Many thanks for this. (So you never had Croft power amp.) Today I had a chat with my local dealer (Peter at Deco Audio) and he suggested that I should have an amp that serves me 99% of the time rather than 1% of the time. He also talked about some people who have a "party amp" that they wheel out when volume is more important than quality. Whilst chatting with him I also worked out that perhaps my amp is playing louder than I think it is due to lower distortion than one might expect when playing really loud. This might be true. What I need to do is to play it as loud as it will go without appearing to lose quality and then try to talk to my wife and see if she can hear me without me shouting. Additionally, I need to step out of the lounge and see how loud it sounds around the rest of the house which, fortunately, is detached.Then I might have something solid to think about.
  13. Sotosound

    New Preamp, Croft or Tron?

    As per my own current thread regarding Croft pre, Russell K speakers and the possibility of switching to a more powerful power amp, I'm trying to solve a problem that I hear in my own system. With this in mind, please could you share a bit more about what led you to your Croft / ATC combo? Many thanks.
  14. Many thanks to everyone for bake-off explanations. Not sure if I’ve got scope for one at present but it sounds like fun.
  15. I've seen bake-offs mentioned on here before. What do they entail?