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  1. #1
    Wammer
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    Post imported post

    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!!!

    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?

  2. #2
    Super Wammer
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    Post imported post

    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 .



  3. #3
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    Post imported post

    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.


  4. #4
    Super Wammer
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    Post imported post

    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.

  5. #5
    Super Wammer dudywoxer's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    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.
    Music is an outburst of the soul

  6. #6
    Miserable Git unclepuncle's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    2nd hand Living Voice Auditoriums or maybe even Avatars if your lucky.

    Then get a nice valve or class A amp when the time comes.
    The truth is out there, you just have to know where to look.

  7. #7
    Acc shut see PuritÚ North
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    Post imported post

    Having finally heard Living Voice speakers sounding good, I'd second the reco for the sake of their known synergy with your CDP. Then it makes sense to put a decent wodge of valvishness in the middle - something with plenny EL34s usually sounds good to me, YMMV. Or if the pockets are deep, Karan - could try chatting up Papa Lazarou and go take an earwig: that system will blow yer socks off!

  8. #8
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    Post imported post

    I would have to say my Accuphase E-213 would be a hard amp to beat, warm side of neutral, detailed and controlled, will power any speakers, almost in your price range, gorgeous (sorry for the shameless plug!!)
    Vortexbox-Squeezebox Touch-NAD D3020-Cabasse IO2

  9. #9
    Panda Jezzer's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    I must say, the Accuphase is a good call. Fantastic amp - especially at the price JB is selling them for...
    Eats, shoots and leaves...

  10. #10
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    Post imported post

    Cheers Jezza, you are right though!!!
    Vortexbox-Squeezebox Touch-NAD D3020-Cabasse IO2

  11. #11
    Super Wammer
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    Post imported post

    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.

  12. #12
    Miserable Git unclepuncle's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    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.


    The truth is out there, you just have to know where to look.

  13. #13
    Founding Wammer
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    Post imported post

    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...amp;forum_id=5


    What does it all mean Basil ???

  14. #14
    Super Wammer The Strat's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    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
    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

  15. #15
    Super Wammer
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    Post imported post

    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'

  16. #16
    Miserable Git unclepuncle's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    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.

    When we swapped the Sugden integrated for a Canary valve amp the speakers were transformed
    The truth is out there, you just have to know where to look.

  17. #17
    Super Wammer
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    Post imported post

    same experience as i have had with the Auditoriums and the Tube Tech Unisis. they seem to favour a sweet valve amp.

  18. #18
    Panda Jezzer's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    Very fine cd player there. You'll need a high end amp to partner it with. I'd suggest a used Simaudio Moon i5 - it is without a doubt the best integrated I have owned - it's like a Krell KAV400xi (which I've owned twice!) but smoother and with more detail... Plenty of reviews of the Moon i5 on the net.

    I've owned a pair of Totem Arros and I couldn't get on with them at the time. Sounded bright with my Naim kit. But then again they might sound better with smoother electronics.

    Given your budget and the partnering equipment, I'd consider getting Totems higher up the range. The Totems are fun but they aren't that transparent and the treble isn't the smoothest IME (and given that they're both excellent-soundingCanadian brands a lot of Simaudio owners are Totem owners....)
    Eats, shoots and leaves...

  19. #19
    Super Dooper Wammer rockmeister's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    Blimey...experience, taste or hearsay?
    Well sticking firmly to the former, your brief suggests the kind of sound I might enjoy myself. At £1000 per component, I think the Puresound A30 is a very fine valve amp, and probably without competition until you double the cost. You will then get a little warmth, masses of detail, plenty punch, but above all, swet musicality (IMO). Speakers to match? No I'd not argue over LV's, fine as they are, but rather look at either something from PMC, Triangle or possibly Rega. I sort of imagine that these will all put some kick and laughter back into the system.
    still just watching clouds

  20. #20
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    Post imported post

    doctorjuggles wrote:

    What have you got to tell me, Wammers?
    get rid of the opus

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