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Road to a simpler hi-fi life

michaelf1000

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I think this is your situation in a nutshell. If you want to downscale towards a one box system, then I think you are going to have to accept that you won't get anything comparable with your old separates with valves.

The Naim had a reputation for being one of the best one box solutions out there, so if that doesn't cut it, I'm not sure what will.

You will be aware of similar offerings from other companies, but I'm not aware of any one box system that uses valves.

NAD and Lyngdorf options give you the bonus of DSP room correction that you are after, but they're both Class D, so won't sound like valves.

You may get some very high quality sound from a streamer plus actives as others have suggested, but will it be comparable with your old system?
Thanks for the thoughts. It may well be that I cannot get the simple package that I have in my minds eye, but hey ho, finding something that sounds good is part of the fun :)
 
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michaelf1000

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Consider Meridian active speakers, cheap as chips second hand, no love (no idea why) gives seriously cheap pricing. Pimped Node2i/Pi based front end. 7200.2 DSP.
Never heard Meridian actives, probably because I felt the other equipment was a bit bland (neutral) for my tastes. Does the pimped version make a big difference over the standard version ? Not better going for a better dac like a Chord Qutest if adding a another box ? Thanks for the ideas.
 

michaelf1000

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One thing to think about Michael is the app that you will need to use. You had Bluesound in the past and many say it’s good. I used to have a Naim Muso and thought that the App was good. I now have Innuos and Auralic. The Auralic is good enough but the Innuos experience makes searching for songs and artists so much simpler as the search function is embedded everywhere. An Innuos with their onboard DAC or an external one with actives (maybe ATC) would be a great combination. Despite trying to downsize I am really enjoying both Auralic and Innuos for what they bring to the music both in functional terms as well as sonically.
Amazing, I forgot all about the Muso I had also. Was perfect for staying in Germany for 2 years. DomT do you think your digital front end brings emotion to the party ? I am not so sure about ATC as I want the fun over the analysis. :)
 

karlsushi

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Sorry, I didn't want to sound all negative. I just mean in terms of presentation style really, not 'sound quality' per se.

No doubt there are some fantastic one box offerings out there these days (a far cry form the old mini systems of yesteryear!), but I think necessarily, they are designed to appeal to a mass audience rather than the more esoteric style favoured by the likes of us weirdos! :)

Like you say though, half the fun is the research...
 
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michaelf1000

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Sorry, I didn't want to sound all negative. I just mean in terms of presentation style really, not 'sound quality' per se.

No doubt there are some fantastic one box offerings out there these days (a far cry form the old mini systems of yesteryear!), but I think necessarily, they are designed to appeal to a mass audience rather than the more esoteric style favoured by the likes of us weirdos! :)

Like you say though, half the fun is the research...
It is fine, I think some realism is necessary and helps set my expectations on what is possible. Compromise is normally required when you try to fit a quart of requirements into a pint pot of what is actually possible, but we must at least try.....
 
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DomT

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Amazing, I forgot all about the Muso I had also. Was perfect for staying in Germany for 2 years. DomT do you think your digital front end brings emotion to the party ? I am not so sure about ATC as I want the fun over the analysis. :)
Emotion is a topic best discussed elsewhere as otherwise people will hijack the thread. I did start a thread about emotional DACs that’s worth a read.

If I think about what the Innuos does over the Auralic then funky music sounds more funky on Innuos and I often prefer vocal rendition as well. But if I want to play The Police or The Pretenders then I prefer the Auralic as it does the leading edges of instruments a little bit better and so guitar music sounds more fun to me.

People hear in such subjective ways but in my experience streamers and DACs make a difference. I did a thread called Auralic Altair stick or twist. I did a detailed write up of the Auralic vs Naim, Chord etc etc. I wrote that the Naim NDX5X2 played with ‘more conviction’. If this is fun to you then Naim could be an option.
 
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timmytiger

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Hello fellow enthusiasts. Can you spare a few moments to help guide me on the next steps of my journey. I suspect what you say will help a number of people considering making changes of a similar type to a simpler hi-fi life. Here goes.

Due to relocation and other life changes, I recently sold all my equipment, built up over the last 30+ years and am ready to start again with a minimal streaming only system.
The last system (for 20 years, except BS) was Tube Technology Unisis amp, Naim NVI, Bluesound node 2i, B&W 805N in rosewood with their stands, Kimber 8TC, DNM reson IC, Russ andrews power cables. The sound enjoyed most on this system was predominantly midrange detail, presented in a beguiling way, free from top end nasties, on rock and middle of the road current music. The TT Unisis, IMO definitely brought out the magic in the midrange and allowed music to breathe. A focus on musicality is of prime importance, not gimmicks or looks. A new valve amp would be an obvious choice, but I'd like to experience something without the limitations; heat, running costs, weight for transportation, etc, in case I decide to relocate to sunnier climes. Scotland is lovely but not enough of of the time methinks.
Based on this, speakers that can suit or be tuned to different rooms may be the best option.

Equipment owned in the past;
Enjoyed: T/T - Rega Planar 2, 3, LP 12, CDP - DPA Renaissance, Naim CDi, Naim NVI, LSPK - EPOS ES11, Sonus faber Concerto, B&W 805 (box), B&W 805 (rounded).
Not so much: Audiolab 8000A, Ruark Talisman 1, REL Strata.
Most enjoyable system: DPA renaissance, Unisis, B&W 805 (rounded).

System options by preference:

1. Active speakers with streaming capability like Buckhardt A500 / B&W Duo.

2. All in one box with small / medium size speakers like Peach tree nova 300 with Amphion 3S.

3. Amp, streamer/DAC and small / medium size speakers.

Budget is up to £8,000 but as usual, less is better for more :)
Room dimensions; FT: 13.5 W x 16 L x 7.5 H (M: 4.1 x 4.8 x 2.2) Laminate floors with rugs. Not decided yet on placement; firing across or along the room length.

Many thanks in advance for your patience and thoughts, Michael

Nice pair of ATC SCM45As on Funky Junk at the moment for £7800, plug in a PC, tablet or phone and away you go.

Your app might have suitable eq and i use a tablet as remote with PC as source.


 

michaelf1000

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It sounds like you intend to go in one direction...but could end up going back to a similar situation :)
I have trimmed back my "stuff" & although I fall back into old ways (sometimes) I am well aware that I am now pretty happy with my system. It's all in the mind isn't it ? If it's what you really want then make a good job of assembling your new system ? Keep it simple and trust only your own ears, then you might be able to sit back contentedly ?
One could assemble a cracking sound system for 5 or 6k if you shop well. Streaming/digital playback has never sounded so good either. Maybe have a couple of pairs of drastically diff spkrs. Each will remind you of why you like the other, whichever pair you are listening to. There is a time in life where we should not be fussing over things imo but maybe enjoying & discovering music with a fresh take ? ..although I do understand most won't agree with this. ;)
That's my take. And it works for me. I tend to smile more than I obsess about things these days, and listening to music is more enjoyable than it's ever been. Good luck !
* Or stuff it and blow a kings ransom on hifi because it makes you feel happy :)
Your right that I think something could be had for less. Just tried to leave a bit of headroom in case something wonderful was out there rather than being too restrictive.

Countless times in the WAM threads I have read the same advice, "sort the speakers first". Took me 30 years to learn this from mistakes and strangely enough I never read it in hifi mags.
This is my first step.

Discovering new stuff and old stuff these days via streaming is such a joy.

Thanks for your thoughts, they are indeed well considered.
 
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Ceko

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Honestly when I would build up a system from scratch it’d be a bluesound powernode and for the 7200 that you heve left the best speakers you can get. And forget about the cables & stuff.
 
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michaelf1000

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Honestly when I would build up a system from scratch it’d be a bluesound powernode and for the 7200 that you heve left the best speakers you can get. And forget about the cables & stuff.
No idea how the powermode sounds. The node 2i I thought was great for the money, so it maybe the same here. Not sure the midrange magic will appear with this type of device.
 

michaelf1000

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Emotion is a topic best discussed elsewhere as otherwise people will hijack the thread. I did start a thread about emotional DACs that’s worth a read.

If I think about what the Innuos does over the Auralic then funky music sounds more funky on Innuos and I often prefer vocal rendition as well. But if I want to play The Police or The Pretenders then I prefer the Auralic as it does the leading edges of instruments a little bit better and so guitar music sounds more fun to me.

People hear in such subjective ways but in my experience streamers and DACs make a difference. I did a thread called Auralic Altair stick or twist. I did a detailed write up of the Auralic vs Naim, Chord etc etc. I wrote that the Naim NDX5X2 played with ‘more conviction’. If this is fun to you then Naim could be an option.
Yes, I suppose emotion is a tricky subject in life as it is in hifi.
I did read your emotional dacs thread and it was interesting for sure. We all see hifi from a different perspective, hence all the different responses to my question.
Considering the manipulation via dsp of something like this Buckhardt A500, I wonder if we will see a day when we simple choose the "valve" filter when needing some wonder in our music or the "rock" filter when we want to be filled with energy listening to AC/DC.
Wouldn't that be great and so much simpler......
 
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Rayymondo

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T + A Make some lovely stuff, I have one of their smaller DACs

R 1000 E Multi Source Receiver​

£5,487.00
See more T+A products.

This all-purpose device contains the genes of the superlative PA 1000 E and MP 1000 E separate devices.
It is equipped with the very latest technologies and components, and certainly ranks as one of the most modern and innovative receivers available anywhere in the world. It combines classic analogue technology for the amplifier section with the latest digital circuit design for the internal sources. It also features a large number of extremely high-quality inputs for external analogue and digital sources, making it the perfect universal nerve center of a really modern, high-quality stereo system.
It can cope with almost anything: you can connect a turntable (optional phono modules are available) or improve the sound of your television; connect a set-top box using an optical lead, or even stream music from a PC – there are no limits. What’s more, the R 1000 E caters for all formats, since its high-quality converter processes the audiophile DSD format as well as PCM files to very high standard.
The outstanding feature of this superb device is that we have equipped it with every available modern source: a high-quality CD mechanism, an aptX® Bluetooth module, a high-performance digital tuner, the Digital Connecting Board for external sources and our new High Res Streaming Client Board. This simply means that the R 1000 E can access everything which delivers music: CD, FM, FM-HD and DAB+ radio; Internet radio with Airable Internet Radio Service; UPnP network music servers; USB memory media; laptops and PCs, music services and mobile devices with Bluetooth!
 
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Pedro2

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For me the simplest option is number one active speakers & streamer/pre like the Cambridge 851n streamer dac pair of XLR speaker cables and your done. One box connected to the internet & two speakers.👍
+1
Active speakers such as ATC or PMC. I have the smallest Hedd model (Type 05) but they make several larger models. Personally, I would avoid actives with built in streaming etc - I still like to feed from a separate box although many might disagree. If our Linn streamer broke today, I honestly wouldn't know where to start in finding a replacement - there are so many excellent streamers/preamps to be had for less money.
 

michaelf1000

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You’ll achieve midrange magic with speakers, not with amplifiers.
You need the speakers for sure, but not heard midrange magic with solid state do far....
If only I could afford a pair of Yoshino SS monobloc amps. Tim said they were the same as his valve Yoshino version. I wonder......
 

newlash09

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If I had 8000 GBP to splurge, below would me my system sir :)

1.ATC SCM40 actives
2. Fed by a Blueme HD Pro via optical.
3. 5V linear power supply for the Blueme HD Pro
4. Any tab of your choice with Bluetooth LDAC streaming protocol, a music subscription of your choice, and stream via Bluetooth to the blueme HD Pro.

P.S : I use Tidal from a Samsung s7+ tab, and stream via Bluetooth to my blumeHD via LDAC codec. My blume is fed by a cheap 5v chi-fi lpsu from Jay's audio, via wireworld optical cable, this feeds a esoteric K-01 dac. And against all my prejudices, it sounded undistinguishable from a Lumin D2. So I now stick with this, and I now really enjoy watching music videos on my tab, with the audio being streamed to my 2 channel system.
 
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michaelf1000

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If I had 8000 GBP to splurge, below would me my system sir :)

1.ATC SCM40 actives
2. Fed by a Blueme HD Pro via optical.
3. 5V linear power supply for the Blueme HD Pro
4. Any tab of your choice with Bluetooth LDAC streaming protocol, a music subscription of your choice, and stream via Bluetooth to the blueme HD Pro.

P.S : I use Tidal from a Samsung s7+ tab, and stream via Bluetooth to my blumeHD via LDAC codec. My blume is fed by a cheap 5v chi-fi lpsu from Jay's audio, via wireworld optical cable, this feeds a esoteric K-01 dac. And against all my prejudices, it sounded undistinguishable from a Lumin D2. So I now stick with this, and I now really enjoy watching music videos on my tab, with the audio being streamed to my 2 channel system.
Very interesting alternative solution and in many ways more user friendly. Thanks :)
 

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