Thanks Chemman (and others for your replies). Special 40 is what I'm leaning towards. They seemed better resolving and just felt a bit more engaging and fun to listen to. They'll probably be easier to manage in my bedroom too. Any recommendations on suitable, reasonably priced stands?
Thanks for the kind offer. I'm based in Bristol though. Hegel amps do sound promising from what I've read. On balance though I'm thinking probably an Exposure 3010S2 with a bluesound node 2i for streaming duties. Then hopefully home demo a couple of speakers. Definitely not after something too analytical, exciting or forward. More detailed, but with some natural flow/punch and warmth would be nice.
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To be honest, getting rid of the 50W arcam A19 was due to upgraditis. Owned and loved the setup for 7 years. But just fancied stepping up a level really across the board. And I must admit the arcam, while detailed and spacious, lacked a bit of drive and rhythmic oomph. I know what you mean about buying second hand; it's the sensible route! I'm just a sucker for buying new I think.
The Hegel has a streamer built in (and can get for a bit under RRP). Whereas the exposure would need a separate streamer. Still a lot for either of course. But yeah a Rega is tempting too, thanks, albeit an Elicit R I'm thinking over the Elex R in the clsssfields.
Thanks all. I'm even considering Spendor A7's instead. But just concerned (without a home demo) they may be too big for a 15 feet x 13ft room. Do you think perhaps an Exposure 3010SD2 or Hegel H190 would partner well with these speakers? Would be a bit of a punt but it seems like they might on paper.
Just back from the demo at Audio T of these two speakers. It was interesting, as not had a demo in years. The current setup (which I have now sold) was an Arcam A19, with Kef R100 speakers and a Marantz NA7004 streamer. The room was large, with very high Georgian ceilings etc. Streaming was via a Linn Selekt (£5,250), so way more than I would be prepared to spend. And after that, a Primare i15 network player/amplifier (£1,600). So far less expensive, and to be honest, not drastically different to my ears, just a bit less expansive in the soundstage. Both seemed fine (at a modest 50W per channel) to deliver more volume than I need, and ample control. I ran out of time to try any other electronics. Spendor A4: Room-filling sound, natural and engaging in the midrange. Hard to get a full impression of the bass, as the room was so large, but there were no complaints on speed or overhang. I suspect in my 15feet x 13feet bedroom at home they will sound quite a bit fuller. Sweet and easy on the ears upper treble (think snare drums), but the lower treble (sibilance region) was still a bit sharp/crisp to me, but then I think I am just really sensitive to this. Unless it’s down to the electronics. They look fantastic; so understated and unimposing, with a nice finish. There was however a hint of midrange boxiness, although I could have imagined that. Dynaudio Special 40: They don’t sound massively different in character to be honest. I think I would sum them up as being more ‘explicit’. The detail just seemed that bit higher, with more ‘going on’ in the soundstage, slightly more to interest the listener. Compared to the Spendors, they sounded a little less restrained and veiled in the midrange and a little more forward perhaps. I think I found them a bit more toe-tapping too. The upper treble was again sweet, and as with the Spendors, the lower treble (sibilance region) sounded a bit too sharp and crisp. I think it was a bit more pronounced than the Spendors too. In return though, there was that bit more detail. No boxiness was detected. Going back to the Spendors though, I struggled to find much issue in that regard either. Bass was impressive for a standmount, seemed adequately agile and gave a welcome fullness to the sound when required. I’d say both speakers were similar in how they handle bass. Interestingly, the guy at Audio T said he preferred the Spendors, as when pushed hard, the Spendors remained in control, while the Dynaudios ‘’fell apart’’ and were all over the place. In terms of looks, they are nice looking speakers. But they’re way chunkier than the Spendors and are a lot more unwieldy looking when factoring in the stands. (Max budget on amplifier or amp/streamer combined would be £2,500 - £3,000 by the way). On that point, there is of course the additional cost of stands to factor in. And the fact I’ll probably need an amp with more grunt to get the best out of them. In conclusion…I’m really not sure! I loved them both and reckon they would be a joy to listen to at home, especially where volume levels will be lower (mid-terrace house!), and likely the bass will be reinforced too. Anyone heard these speakers and would be able to give their two pennies worth? Thanks
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