Best Speaker/Amp combination for under £3,000?

cb2013

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Evening all,

I've decided to invest in a nice hi-fi, and would like some advice here. I have up to £3,000 to spend on a speaker & amp, cables and an iPod digital connector.

Criteria:

Black Speakers, floor-standing with a relatively small footprint.

Pre and poweramp combination unit, fairly compact.

White speaker cables, tidy setup.

The room is approx 4.5m x 4.5m, ceilings approx 3.5m, wooden floors. 2nd floor flat, with neighbours below and above.

Will be using a Rane TTM 57SL mixer and 2x Technics 1210 turntables, and an iPod for digital music / possibly a CD deck if compact.

Something which can handle a diverse range of sound: Jazz, Soul, Disco, Deep House, Electronic, Rock - the majority of which will be played from vinyl.

What I'm currently looking at:

Dynaudio Excite X34

Roskan Kandy K2

Pure i20 Dock

This comes to around £2,700 brand new. I am also open to a used option, but would like condition to be near new and colour of speakers to be black and floor standing.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this setup, and alternatives within the price range.

Cheers,

Cedric

 

flapland

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Welcome Cedric, nice budget there and if you are willing to consider used it will go a long way. Perhaps a few bake-off visits first you commit to spending that much cash would be helpful.

Also you could consider spending some of the budget on a better phone stage, cartridge and arm for one of the Technics 1210.

 

yoda900

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10777991524_d9060c2a24_z.jpg


Thats yer speakers sorted then :cool:

 

cb2013

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Thanks for the feedback. I've tested the Xeo 5's and wasn't convinced, in practical terms they are ideal - but that warm analogue feel from playing vinyl was lost. Also the sound felt caged in, we compared them to the smaller Dynaudio Excite X14 with a Kandy K2 and although not as loud or impressive in mid range or bass as the Xeo 5's, the sound was sharper and had more room to spread out.

I won't be changing my vinyl setup for the time being as I DJ, and am happy with standard setup. I would consider upgrading cartridges/needles in the future, but have found the ortofon a good price/performance balance and they last longer than others I've tried.

In terms of a bake-off, where do you suggest?

And yoda, what are those speakers you show in your photo?

Thanks

 

belloire

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the speakers are Accoustic Energy 305's. very nice they are too.

where are you based? there are back off's all the time, but depends if you can get to them.......

 

Jezzer

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You want to buy these speakers in the classifieds. Ok, they're not black but they're dark racing green.

These are rather good too (if they're still available).

Spend the rest on a decent amp (you can get something a lot better than the Roksan if you go secondhand - such as Unison Research, Krell, Simaudio... :^

 

HoopsOnToast

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Do you mind the speakers being out in the room?

Magnepan MMG can be had for around £800 inc VAT/Import Duty direct from Magnepan, or the larger MG12 around £1k ex-demo like the ones from MAX in the Dealers Classifieds.

They are very light so can be bought out when in use and put back against the walls when not.

Dont know about amps in the £1k-£2k range, I found a Restek Challenger to be an excellent match (~£300 S/H) but you might want something a little less brutal looking.



System by RSdesignUK, on Flickr

 

cb2013

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Nov 10, 2013
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Thanks for the suggestions, size is an issue. I would like something with a small footprint, which can stay in position and be easily transported (40 kg per speaker is far too much). The Dynaudio's I was looking at are 17kg.

 

mikedefacto

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If you're going to put everything through the Rane... then I would jizz the lot on a pair of decent active monitors, with suitable cabling and stands.

 

Jason P

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If you're going to put everything through the Rane... then I would jizz the lot on a pair of decent active monitors, with suitable cabling and stands.
This. A pair of Event Opals and stands, and enough left over to keep you in music for a good long while...

 

Lefty

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If you're going to put everything through the Rane... then I would jizz the lot on a pair of decent active monitors, with suitable cabling and stands.
Definitely worth investigating. I recently heard a pair of these and was astounded by how good they sounded:

SE Munro Eggs

83004_l.jpg


Lefty

 

sunbeamgls

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Would suggest something along the lines of Cyrus Streamline / Naim UnitiQute / Naim SuperUniti / Linn Majik DSM (formerly known as the Majik DSi) which combines streamer, pre-amp (not phono - you'd need to add a phono stage) and power amp into one very compact package. Then add floorstanders per recommendations in this thread (I would add ProAc into the mix).

Alternatively something like Naim's NAC-N 172-XS or Cyrus Stream XP Qx combines streamer and pre-amp then add some active speakers which some other contributors may be able to recommend.

Nice simple one box solutions. Or add a power amp to either of the streamer / pre-amps and one of the recommended passive floorstanders.

 

James Evans

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So many different possible combos for that budget, the mind boggles. I'd probably look at actives as mentioned above.

 

vacdac

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Would suggest something along the lines of Cyrus Streamline / Naim UnitiQute / Naim SuperUniti / Linn Majik DSM (formerly known as the Majik DSi) which combines streamer, pre-amp (not phono - you'd need to add a phono stage) and power amp into one very compact package. Then add floorstanders per recommendations in this thread (I would add ProAc into the mix).Alternatively something like Naim's NAC-N 172-XS or Cyrus Stream XP Qx combines streamer and pre-amp then add some active speakers which some other contributors may be able to recommend.

Nice simple one box solutions. Or add a power amp to either of the streamer / pre-amps and one of the recommended passive floorstanders.
I don't think that's such a smart allocation of funds here TBH Sunbeam. If you care to read the OP it's some way from what's being asked for here too. A streaming solution hasn't been asked for even, rather it's the heart & bones of a system that's required, namely a speaker/amp pairing.

Both approaches already suggested here have merit e.g. Pre-amp/Active speakers or Pre/Power/integrated + passive floorstanding models that Cedric has stated some preference for.

:stereo:

The trouble with your suggestion is that the streamer/pre whatevers:roll: you suggest soak up too much of the budget TBPH allowing much less for the important amp/speaker pairing. Some of them may even be good solutions, but none of them offer spectacularly brilliant :stereo:/££££. :nup:

I'd be looking at the AE's suggested here TBH. The XTZ 99.36 mk.II Piano*** I currently use are also good at around the same price point. Were I considering a ground up system today these two would be top of my list & an obvious pairing to me would be the XTZ AP 100 power-amp with Projects new line only RS valve pre-amp which has great connectivity including balanced in/outs. (*** Well worth being aware that there are TWO Variants of the XTZ 99.36 speakers that have much greater than just skin deep differences. IMV the premium piano finist version is the one to go for:^. Cabinet shape/finish are most obviously different, but the Piano model also use a much heavier 22mm mdf for t' construction & mass in @ over 8kg each heavier>>the matt black/wallnut vinyl wrap models mass @ 19kg ea. The Pianos have 3 ports which allow a greater range of tuning options & an additional 2 steps to the bass adjustments, via the plug in links too. :geek: :^ )

This would break down as:

XTZ 99.36 speakers £1090

XTZ Power Amp £604

Project RS Pre-amp £600

This would leave a chunk of change for a more than decent streamer or streamer/DAC solution.........if the OP wants to pursue this even. :^

360.jpg
Bild%20%2878%29.jpg


http://www.xtz.se/en/products/electronics/class-ap100-svart#arrow

http://www.xtz.se/en/products/speakers/99-36-mkii-piano#

preboxrs.jpg
http://www.box-designs.com/main.php?prod=preboxrs&cat=amplifier〈=en

 

cb2013

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Nov 10, 2013
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Ok, quite a few options here - thanks.

Firstly, is the new option I initially suggested bad?

Active speakers are an option if they are floor standing. But I have found they don't disperse sound in the way that a speaker/amp combo does: I currently have a Geneva Soundlab XL (which I know if not in the same league as what is being suggested) and wasn't overly impressed by the Xeo 5's.

In terms of the amp, I would like the pre and power both in one unit if going down that route, and nothing too colossal as I have a cabinet below my decks which it needs to fit in.

These speakers look good: XTZ 99.36, but would they be as good as a pair of Dynaudio X34's? And as compact?

 

vacdac

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Here's the dimensions from t' link I provided Cedric. :^

>>

Construction type 2 1/2-way with separates boxes for woofer and woofer/midrange

Bass reflex cabinet that may be set as a closed box, a total of eight distinct bass modes (Room Tuning).

The trebble and bass level are adjustable in four different levels each.

Dimensions:

244 x 910 x 352 mm (Width x Height x Depth)

Rubber spikes +20mm

Weight: 27 kg/pc

Magnetically shielded: No

Impedance: 4-8 ohm

Binding post: Goldplated bi-wiring / Banana plug / Pole screw

Efficiency: 88dB

Power

* 550 W Short term IEC 268-5

* 200 W Long term IEC 268-5

Tweeter

Ribbon tweeter, SACD/DVD-Audio-ready, Sandvich ribbon cone in aluminium, neodymium magnets, chassis made in ceramic carbon steel.

Woofer / midrange

6,5" SEAS Excel, Magnesium driver, moulded "high flow" driver basket, powerful magnet,weight 1900 gram, shielded.

Woofer

6,5 "SEAS , coated paper driver, moulded high flow driver basket, powerful magnet,weight 1900gram.

Connections and settings

* Goldplated biwiring.

* Bassreflex, can be set to closed box (Room Tuning).

* The bass can be set to eight distinct modes using the supplied bass plugs

* The trebble level is adjustable in 4 different modes.

* The bass level is adjustable in 2 different modes.
As you can see the footprint isn't huge.

They do like a lot of power up 'em though, which is why the XTZ the AP 100 power amp is such a great match. This amp is switchable for Class A or AB operation & delivers around 190wpc into 4ohm, which is the load that the 99.36 speakers present. The AP 100 is a proper high current design too & can swing/sustain over 62amps in current output & is based around a large 1500va R core Traffo.

If looking at other mfrs amps to pair with these speaks I'd be looking at models that manage 150wpc+ into 4ohms & can swing a decent amount of current. In that respect they're not dissimilar to Dynaudio TBH as their speakers typically thrive with higher power/high current designs.

I've heard the X36 & really liked them, but way before buying my current speakers & I've never done a side by side....the X34 I havner heard TBH. :nup:

Pretty much most of the XTZ stuff I've seen reviewed is generally reckoned to offer unusually GVFM at its price point & able to hold its own often with considerably pricier kit. The quality of electronics components used/cabinets/speaker drivers is generally excellent & if you check the driver DNA for my speaks you will see that other mfr's models using them are pretty hallowed company inc Audiosmile in their classy Kensai mini monitor, Jamo's Concert series & also their R707/R909 open baffles for the SEAS EXCEL magnesium coned mid bass driver. The Fountek Ribbon tweeter used is also v well respected & used by the likes of Marten & also Monitor Audio in their Platinum/GX ranges. The SEAS PRESTIGE series treated paper coned Bass driver is hardly shabby either.

You'll rarely see these drivers at anything like this price point, they are more usual in designs costing considerably more. The cabinet quality on the Piano Gloss models is substantial too & the finish is really good IMV.

They offer a whole host of room tuning options with a variety of different port loading options & the ability to 'set them' as 'near sealed boxes using the dense memory foam bungs. The H.F. & Bass levels both offer a range of adjustments too, via a series of plug in links on the binding post panel. :geek: So they are more configurable to better match a variety of rooms than many speakers are. :cool: :stereo:

 

68rednose

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Hi Cedric, welcome to the Wam.

The answer to your question will leave plenty options open.

My personal experience:

After I bought my first 2 sets new about 2-3 decades ago, I would advocate going the used/ex-dem route as suggested before as well:

it will improve VFM tremendously.

Best offer at the moment is the already suggested Kharma Ceramique 3.0 at 1.5k (it's dark green though).

You will get nowhere near that sound quality for that budget.

Anyway, trust your own ears, have fun while auditioning and good luck with your search!

 

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