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hi-fi seperates

Discussion in 'DHCH Archive' started by Veritas, Oct 19, 2003.

  1. Liverpool-Lad

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 1,519

    Location: Liverpool - UK.

    As said, the power output of cheaper systems amps are given at different ohms to make the figures look better. Also low THD is the key.

    Has anyone had experience of Philips Silver Crown DACs before? Apparently my ancient Marantz CD-84 has them, weighs a bloomin ton...
     
  2. commited

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 5,367

    Location: Dublin, Ireland

    completely agree with everything said above mate :D
    To be honest - it might be true (just for stereo) to say that amp&speakers haven't moved on tremendously in 20years.
    My father recently replaced his 24year old B&W DM7s which are beautiful speakers with B&W 802's however and they were unbelievable - dad realised that his speakers had aged, and kind of lost the life in them - they still beat my 602's hands down - but they dont quite have the hype and easgerness of the the 602's.
    He is currently using a Meridian Pre and 2xMonoblock set up and (101 & 2x105's), which are amazing!
    He did however, 24years ago when he bought the above, want the top of the range naim gear, which at the moment is going on ebay for a few hundred - so im thinking of buying that and making him jealous :D
    Tbh - I dont think i will ever buy new Hifi again!
     
  3. Mr_Sukebe

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 23, 2002

    Posts: 8,879

    Location: London

    Committed>

    I think you're right in at least checking out second hand kit.
    I'm a little dubious about second hand CD players, as I've not had great experiences with the Teac I've owned, apart from that, it's all been good.
    In addition, groups like Naim have brilliant after sales support, meaning that it's quite straightforward to get their kit serviced (often re-capped). I think you might struggle to get a top of the range Naim setup for just a few hundred quid. Kit like 250s hold their values well.

    Frankly I believe that a lot of changes in amp/speaker kit in the last 10 years is not so much progress (although I'm sure some has happened), rather that the "sonic signature" of kit has been altered to meet market requirements which have changed.

    For example, with the Naim gear you mention, I find the old stuff a little coarse when compared to the 5 series gear. However, link that up with say an LP12 as the source, and the synergy is simply awesome. I've heard three LP12 fronted systems in the last year, all of which make me dribble. Problem is that when you stick a new CD source on the front end, the sonic signature really isn't so nice, which is where I think the new style kit wins.
     
  4. alastair84

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 28, 2003

    Posts: 1,099

    Location: Portsmouth

    True dude, but we are talking about a budget system here. what was it? £400 for speakers, amp, cd player and DAB radio?
    I doubt that you will be able to tell the difference between a £12000 and a £120 cd player with only say an amp/speaker combo costing £300. I cetainly wouldn't! :)
    Anyways, don't always go Richer Sounds, the salespeople will lie to you about how good other brands are, not that cambridge audio/gale brands are rubbish. (Trust me on this, after 3 visits and 2 demos.) anyway, i did buy 2 things from richersounds. Here is my setup:

    gale monitor gold speakers - £100 (richersounds)
    philips cd723 cdplayer - £80 (richersounds)
    cambridge audio a300 - £70 (2nd hand ebay)
    soundwave radio unit £13 (2nd hand shop)

    gale xl315 10meter speaker cable (free with cd player + speakers)
    cambridge audio pacific interconnect (free ")
    cambridge 3.5mm jack to photo interconnect (free ")

    Total price: £263
    This system sounds great in my smallish room. I have yet to buy 10m more of the gale 315 speaker cable to bi-wire.....i wonder if i will tell the difference....

    Anyway, my view is to go something like this on your budget:
    amp: ~150
    cd player:~80
    speakers: ~130
    dab radio: dunno....~80?

    PS
    If i had the chance to build my system all over again, i would have definately gotten the Mourdant Short 902s. They are £130 from "home cinema heaven" website, and richersounds could do you a price beat. And lastly, LISTEN BEFORE YOU BUY!! - especially every1 has their own tastes, perception of sound, tates in music (i.e. i had a marantz pm4200 before and it just didn't do it for me...i like dance/rock...not enough bass) and richersounds DON't DO RETURNS...BEWARE!!!!!
     
  5. commited

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 5,367

    Location: Dublin, Ireland

    Re: the CD players - I agree completely - thought I had mentioned above - ill probably buy a DAC as the next addition to my system and use the arcam as a transport (or give dad my 7SE and use his 6 as the transport).
    dad has an LP12 too - and tbh, i think it needs a new cartridge because the Arcam beats it too easily..
    Any suggestions?
     
  6. Mr_Sukebe

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 23, 2002

    Posts: 8,879

    Location: London

  7. Mr_Sukebe

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 23, 2002

    Posts: 8,879

    Location: London

    Have you actually done the test? I'm not suggesting you try something at anything like the cost of a CD12, but I really do think that yes you could tell the difference that a good CD player would make on a basic level system.

    For example, I bought a pair of MS25is for rear speakers on my system a couple of years ago. For a while I then put them as fronts on a second system with some cheapy components. Frankly I thought they sounded rubbish.
    More recently I got the same speakers back again (I'd leant them to my brother) and tried them on my main system CD/amp combo. Clearly they weren't in the same league as my main speakers, but they actually sounded really good.
    What I'm trying to suggest is that I really do believe that the "source first" philosophy is a good one, and that "garbage in, garbage out" is true, even with budget level components on the rear.
     
  8. Just as an option, if you are going to be looking at second hand, I'd see if you can spot a Cambridge Audio CD4SE CD player.

    Many people will laugh as it is a Cambridge (owned by RS) and the original retail was about £200. Consequently they can be picked up quite cheaply, I've seen a few on e-bay (must be the SE version).

    Cambridge had this unit designed by Pink Triangle simply to win evey budget CD player award going, which it duely did. If you can pick one up for about £100 it's an absolute bargin and will compete happily with anything up to about £600.
     
  9. alastair84

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 28, 2003

    Posts: 1,099

    Location: Portsmouth

    the "source first" thing is good and true and i agree. But the extent to which it rings true in practical usage of the budget systems is debateable.
    That's the difference between budget systems and higher end systems. The quality of the cd player makes a lot more difference at higher end systems, because the amp and speakers are at a much higher quality anyway, so they transmit a purer, truer signal, so quality of the source becomes much more apparant.
    But the quality of the cd player makes little difference in budget systems (i.e. amp+speakers=£300 ). This is because there is little audible difference between cd players priced £80-£150 these days when listening to them with amp+speakers costing £300. And when you start to talk about a cd player worth £200, combined with our budget system here (amp+speakers+cdplayer+DAB radio for £400,) you're just being silly. You may have just gotten an £80 cd player, and a £200 amp, which would make a huge difference in the sound quality. I.e. the graph of SOUND QUALITY vs PRICE is much steeper for cd players than for amps. Therefore you'd be better off spending extra money on the amp, at least in the bugdet price range....trust me.:p

    this only proves that you just got a pair of speakers with a cruddy system, then tried them with a better system, and it sounded better....duh....i can't conclude any further than that, can anyone else? have you considered that the amp could have played a huge part in the difference in sound quality, more than the cd player?

    yes. i swapped my dad's Cyrus DAD7 cdplayer (a real dam good dogs b*llocks cd player ) with my Philips 723 on my forementioned speaker+amp=£170 combo. Can tell subtle differences, but only in hardcore "classical" ("modern style" music) like Gershwin Rhapsody in blue orchestral stuff....hardly much of an improvement. Certainly not worth the £500 cd player in my system.
     
  10. Bear

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 24, 2002

    Posts: 12,335

    Location: Bucks and Edinburgh

    I used to think so but Im not wholey convinced. I have heard a £250 Rotel CD player on an Audio Note Okgaku, connected to a pair of top of the range Martin Logans. The player was playing a professionally made custom CD but sound was absolutely amazing all the same, even on a budget CD player. The Ongaku was changed to a pair of Audio note kegon mono blocks and it was still one of the sweetest things I have ever heard.

    I know these amps are stupidly expensive £25k+ but the point was made that its not always the case of garbage in garbage out.
     
  11. commited

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 5,367

    Location: Dublin, Ireland