What to buy for 5 Grand?

Stephen

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Jan 7, 2006
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I've been trawling hifi shops for past year. looking to upgrade from my MF 3.2 amp and CD player and Linn speakers. Listened to loads of kit but here in Singapore it's very difficult (ie, impossible) to do good comparative reviews.

Currently narrowed field to a pair of Martin Logan Vantages and a Krell 400 integrated amp. Here in Sing, brand new, that sets me back just under GBP 5,000. However, I also got to thinking, do I need to change the amp at all. Should I just spend the money on speakers (& if so what) or should I do what my wife suggests and keep the existing kit and don't be so stupid!

I'm quite happy with the CD player and I'm sure that it's not the weak link in my system. Same is probably true of the amp but I'm just too tempted by the thought of the Krell.

My Linn Keilidh spkrs are the weak link (but will not be sold - too good for that - & will form basis of 2nd system in bedroom: might even experiment with upgrading internal wiring and cross overs). The MLs are super speakers. The mid and high bands are just so clear. Even with really complex mixes, they do not get confused and you can still hear individual instruments positioned on a wide (but not very deep) sound stage. This is perhaps biggest improvement on the Linns. Bass too is good and I really was not too aware of the seperate woofer unit. SPkrs go loud too. No hesitation in turning system up. The MLs driven by Ayre CD and the new Ayre mono-blocks were keen to party. Listed to Matchbox 20, Carrie Underwood, Bob Marley.

The Summits are even better but then they are twice the price!

For comparison listened to pair of Triangle spkrs (not sure which ones) thru same Ayre kit. At first I thought they sounded better - but after a while I realised that they were more confused than the MLs and not letting the music out in the same clear way that the MLs did.The Triangles were warmer but this is probably just coloration from the cabinet enclosure. So that madeit 1-0 for the MLs and electrostatic hybrids!

The big question... if you had 5,000, what would you do with my current system and what would you buy?

 

icehockeyboy

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Aug 14, 2005
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Craig
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  1. No
Having owned both A3.2 cdp and amp (integrated and pre/power) you will find a quite substantial gain in quality by moving away from those models at what arent silly prices.I would recommend the combination of cdp and power amp that i currently have, teamed with a pre of your choice, or indeed the integrated Lyngdorf 2175, this would leave ample for speakers, your choice of Martin Logans should be good.

 
A

Alex A

Guest
The Krell would be a fantastic choice. I still prefer their big Class A stuff, but with the KAV300 and 400 they really have nailed AB as well as anyone near the price. Speakers is entirely down to personal preference (much moreso than transistor amp vs transistor amp), but the thing you need to ensure is that you get a good synergy between amp and speakers. In my experience, it's by far the most critical connection in any system. The Krell is very powerful and will match well with most speakers, but it's still something you should seriously consider. A lack of comparitive demoing makes things difficult. If it were my £5k, I'd go for the Krell 300/400 and a pair of Triangle floorstanders (or small Sonus Faber), depending on room size.

But, as 'nice' as the MF is, you would gain shedloads from upgrading to a more serious transistor amp, and you shouldn't just upgrade the speakers (unless of course you have another £3-5k for a new amp later and want to do it bit by bit)

 

rockmeister

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Jul 24, 2005
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  1. No
5000??? sell everything.

Buy a rock turntable, with excalibur arm and VDH the first cart for 4000. With the 2500 you now have from selling your kit, get a small valve amp and a pair of 1500 speaker kits from Wilmslow audio.

smile.png


god I can be annoying...sorry.
smile.png


 

Davewhityetagain

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Jul 24, 2005
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rockmeister wrote:

5000??? sell everything. Buy a rock turntable, with excalibur arm and VDH the first cart for 4000. With the 2500 you now have from selling your kit, get a small valve amp and a pair of 1500 speaker kits from Wilmslow audio.

smile.png


god I can be annoying...sorry.
smile.png
:cool:well if your going to pick your turntable will do the same get a clearaudio solution satisfy arm and Symphony moving-coil cartridge smart phono stage audion intregrated amp £1,200 and speaker from Wilmslow
tongue.png


 

Sir_Franc

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Nov 10, 2005
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Rick
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
If I had £5k in my pocket I'd look for a set of secondhandATC 100 active speakers and spend any remains on a CDP as perfectly happy with my BAT pre-amp.

 

yoda900

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Sep 20, 2005
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HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
If you're happy with your amp and cd why not investigate the Art Emotion speakers. They will blow your budget but I think will give the ML a run for the money subject to domestic situation and WAF. All the power and cohesiveness you look for.

At the next itch try a new amp. I think you will find plenty that will trounce the MF and don't need to cost a fortune. Quality rather than quantity will best suit once the Emotions are in place as they will easily reveal the difference between amps, valves and Class A being good bets. AK now uses the Bel Canto Ref 1000's at 500W per cahannel ? so they can take grunt too if that is your bag.

Very lucky to have the choices at that price .

Cheers

Yoda

 
M

Mr Coherent

Guest
Mike,

I believe Paul has now changed again, those very amps were put up for sale last week.

 
M

Mr Coherent

Guest
Is this £5k in total?, per product? does it have to be new?

 

Stephen

Wammer
Wammer
Jan 7, 2006
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, , Belgium
Budget 5 grand total! Not made of money you know.

ART speakers not an options - no dealers out here in Singapore. So even though I really liked the ARTs when I heard them at Shadow Audio whilst in Scotland on holiday - they are not an option (not sure I could live with looks either!).

I already have a turntable - one of the original Systemdeks from circa late 1980s. But the t/t and all my LPs are in storage in UK. Very very few LPs sold in Singapore.So it's strictly digital for me this now.

Thanks for suggestions so far!

 
U

Umberto

Guest
Biscuit wrote:

SOURCE COMPONENTS: Musical Fidelity KWDM25, Dac and transport AMPLIFICATION: DK designs VS1 Reference MK3 SPEAKERS: ART Emotion Signature Loudspeakers
^^I believe that is the most up-to-date iteration of Paul's system.
I heard Paul's system at the weekend andI have to say it is utterly stonking. Extremely natural sounding. Almost live sounding infact.

I'd check out the DK designs amp. Amazing for the price. If you sell your equipment you could get one and the DAC and transport and still have money left over for some JAS audio speakers for example.

 
G

Guest

Guest
£5000 seems alot. I started out on this route just over a year ago. Problem as always will be system imbalance. If £5k is your absolute budget then i wouldn't blow on a pair of revealing speakers as they'll on show up limitations in the rest of your system. You'll swear you will be able to live with it but it will eventually bug the shit out of you ( Iknow:p). Secondly i'd go second hand as that £5k can be worth twice as much in the seconhand market.

 

The Strat

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Aug 17, 2005
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Lindsay
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  1. No
Duvet wrote:

£5000 seems alot. I started out on this route just over a year ago. Problem as always will be system imbalance. If £5k is your absolute budget then i wouldn't blow on a pair of revealing speakers as they'll on show up limitations in the rest of your system. You'll swear you will be able to live with it but it will eventually bug the shit out of you ( Iknow:p). Secondly i'd go second hand as that £5k can be worth twice as much in the seconhand market.
Most definately - I bought the Dyna Contours 1.8 convinced that the Arcam CD93/A85 would be ok. It wasn't. Hence a lot of heartache and negotiation with Mrs Strat (who is literally the Bank Manager!) Get a really good and well matched CDP/Amp and then choose the speakers to really get the tonal balance you required. I would apportion the money evenly and would certainly endorse Duvet's line on good 2nd hand particularly from the brands whose reputation is built on reliability amongst other facets.

 

JamPal

Content Provider
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Jul 19, 2005
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James
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Buy the Martin Logans IMO. I have been in thge shop with the Ayre and ML's and am suprised you are thinking of the Krell amp, when you can hear how well the Ayre works with those ML's.

Duvet and Strat are right though. Assume that at some point next year, you will be going back up stairs to buy the Ayre CD player too.
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You will have one stunning system.

 

boseman

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Nov 23, 2005
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Here., ,
Personally, I'd say GBP 3,000 for speakers & GBP 2,000 for amp. I think your source is fine (it's an X-Ray V3 cdp in A3.2 casework, I think) & you'd (probably) have to spend a lot more to improve on it... besides, you don't think the cdp is the weak link so it probably isn't.

I'd start by finding a pair of speakers that you like the sound of and then choosean ampthat gets the best out of these speakers. I say, the source is fine.

 

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