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duncan-uk

HiFi speakers and set up advice

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So i'm not an audiophile by any stretch (mostly its radio 4 or TMS....) but i like a good sound and have been toying with improving my set up in the office, I've been using a Kitsound Dock air for a while which is fine but doesn't have an output for an amp and speakers so stuck with the internal set which are fine for background tunes but not ideal but its easy.

 

So thinking of improving the separate kit i have namely a Denon 250SE amp, Marantz CD63 CD player and some fischer speakers.

 

Just purchased an Arcam rBlink DAC to get bluetooth into the equation.

 

The speakers are the weak link they're not anything regarded by the purist and were gifted to me 20 odd years ago - blimey! - so pretty shagged by now and they lack depth of sound.

 

So what should i be looking at - Mission MX1's ive seen at a decent price and get a good write up - its not a huge space so looking at he bookshelf types and i'm not looking for a Cream type PA but some crisp speakers at a modest price.

 

Or should i ditch the above bar the Arcam and go with the B&O Beosound Ouverture with Beolab 6000 speakers i've inherited? Its had light use and the speakers have generally played the TV or classically music and certainly at modest volume!

 

The reason i'm tempted not too keep this set up is they fetch a few quid, cassettes, CDs and analogue radio are old tech and the unit is kit is hard to place particularly the speakers are tricky  being tall and thin...

 

Unless the B&O amp and speakers are worth having just to run the DAC (not currently plumbed in) ?

 

Thoughts?

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A pair of play 1s, or even a single play 1, is an incredibly cost effective way to get decent results while being super compact. Ive sold all my decent hifi gear and very happy with a few play 1s.

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Bollocks to a Sonos; no matter how 'capable' they are, they're not pure stereo and just don't sound as good

 

If you want some decent speakers for not a lot of £££, you'll not go wrong with the likes of:

 

Wharfedale Diamond 9.1s, 10.1s or 220s

Q Acoustic 3020s

Monitor Audio Bronze 2s

 

Out of the lot, the cheapest Diamond 9.1s are belting little speakers and are available, brand new for £100: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wharfedale-Diamond-9-1-Speakers-Black/dp/B002WJAQY2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520584855&sr=8-1&keywords=wharfedale+diamond+9.1

 

They'll work very well with the Denon & Marantz CDP

 

You'll need to budget for some good speaker stands; around £60-£100 on top of the speakers will do, the weightier they are the better (Soundstyle or Atacama do stands around £70 IIRC, budget for some dried kiln sand (ok) or Atacama atabites (miles better)

 

Your amps not a bad budget amp; the CDP is very good still and has lasted the test of time etc

 

I'd leave the B&O stuff; it's not stereo, like Bose, it's a lifestyle system to a)look good, b.) sound ok and c) costa a fortune :lol: 

 

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Yup; same principle really

 

Like the B&W Zeppelin, Arcam rCube etc

 

Just simple, all in one systems that connect via Bluetooth/AirPlay et al

 

You'll never achieve sound from those that you will with your Denon/Marantz system and speakers

 

It's all down to budget and room constraints etc

 

I had a Cyrus 8DAC integrated with Neat Motive 2 speakers, then changed them to B&W CM5s then onto KEF LS50s and all that's gone now as I've got KEF LS50 wireless speakers on Partington Dreadnought stands, loaded with Atabites, all fed via AirPlay/ATV3 into an MF M1DAC that fees the KEFs... Nice and simple, no amp/physical source needed as everything is on my iMac/iTunes account etc

 

You can have it as simple or complicated as you want really

Edited by d_a_n1979

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1 hour ago, duncan-uk said:

But from what I've read the sonos is basically what I have in the dock air so no real point in going that route. 

 

Everything you've described with the separates is basically what you have in the Dock Air.

 

I'd suggest the devil is in the detail.

 

 

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In terms of function yes but there are many ways to skin a cat - the Dock air is an all in one so speakers and amps are limited to what is in built - it does the job but i'm after a little more in terms of sound quality.

 

Always been happy with the amp and cd player i have but speakers are a bit tired now so wanted thoughts as to what might suit and in doing so i can clear out some old tech.

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14 minutes ago, duncan-uk said:

In terms of function yes but there are many ways to skin a cat - the Dock air is an all in one so speakers and amps are limited to what is in built - it does the job but i'm after a little more in terms of sound quality.

 

Always been happy with the amp and cd player i have but speakers are a bit tired now so wanted thoughts as to what might suit and in doing so i can clear out some old tech.

 

Buy the best you can with your budget; not sure what that is, but 2nd hand for me can be a lot better than brand new etc

 

If you wanted some small floorstanders rather than standmounts that you need to then buy stands for; then maybe consider the Rega RS3s, Monitor Audio BX5s, Totem Arros or maybe the Neat Motive 2s

 

Pinkfishmedia, Art of Sound and AVForums forums are generally very good for stuff like this; I'm all over them like a rash :mrgreen: 

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44 minutes ago, duncan-uk said:

The 9.1's look interesting at the price though they will sit on a shelf rather than a stand.

 

 

 

Better on weighted stands; but yes, will be fine on a shelf, ideally a hard, flat surface with room to breathe. 

 

Get some of these if you're going to have speakers on a shelf/flat surface: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RoXdon-RMP-1-Studio-Monitor-Speaker-Foam-Isolation-Pads-x4-2-per-speaker/400725366031?epid=0&hash=item5d4d17d50f:g:yg0AAOSwDZxTznPp

 

They'll isolate from that surface and stop unwanted resonance...

 

I have them under my JBL LSR308s that I have on my desk and they work superbly:

 

IMG_20180307_213555.jpg

 

 

Edited by d_a_n1979

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7 minutes ago, duncan-uk said:

When I say shelf it's actually a wall of cupboards so pretty substantial but pads look a good idea. 

 

Yes; they'll be needed as there will be resonance. Even if you used BluTac it'd still travel through it and into the cupboards whereas the RoXdon pads will completely isolate as they're acoustic foam based etc

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Good to see folk still using decent sound systems, most of my mates have gone down the sonos route and I personally think it sounds terrible but I pretend I’m impressed. I still use my old rotel amp and floorstanders and feel the sound produced is lovely... each to their own

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1 hour ago, paperjams said:

Good to see folk still using decent sound systems, most of my mates have gone down the sonos route and I personally think it sounds terrible but I pretend I’m impressed. I still use my old rotel amp and floorstanders and feel the sound produced is lovely... each to their own

 

Sonos, no matter how 'capable' or 'dynamic' it is, will never beat a true stereo setup

 

But then again, not everyone is an audiophile, not everyone wants wires and separates all over the show, so Sonos caters for that etc :) 

 

Don't get me wrong, they have their place, but not in my 'ouse :lol: 

 

Bought a B&W Zeppelin Air off one of the hifi forums yesterday, will do nicely for upstairs via my wifes iPod and iTunes Match etc :) 

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I’ve been looking at replacing my system recently also. 

Yamaha CRXN470D can play pretty much everything but I’m yet to go and listen. 

My mrs wants my old large kef q35 out of the house as they are “ugly” apparently. Pah. 

They still sound great after all these years. 

Wanted to get some sort of streaming device and dab but budget isn’t high. 

Get down to a richer sounds and they will happily help and demo stuff for you. 

 

Edited by falcodub

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Can't beat a proper set up. I've just had my 20 year old Audiolab separates serviced and been surprised how well they sound once again. Wouldn't change it for the world, still looks elegant today. 

 

And purely by chance the gentleman who serviced it, a Kevin Green in Bicester, is an E34 nut. Has 3 M5's (Rosso Red, Orinoho Green and a track Azure Blue) and a Sultan of Brunei 540i tourning he's converted to 6 speed manual.

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Well my feeling at the mo is sell the b&o and go for the wharfdales dan linked too with some pads. 

 

kitsnd I may then sell or use in another room. 

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On 3/10/2018 at 7:47 AM, paperjams said:

most of my mates have gone down the sonos route and I personally think it sounds terrible

Really? Which models or just "all of them?" 

 

My hifi kit made a grand when sold second hand, sounded great , lossless fileserver, networked DAC, roksan k2 amp and some sweet KEF floorstanders. As much as I loved it, 95% of the time i dont miss it one bit.

 

A couple of plays1s in stereo configuration, i agree will never be real hifi, but sound great with pretty flexible placement and an architectural simplicity that's probably right up your street Duncan :-D.  So i'd just recommend you audition them first before pulling the trigger on whatever you decide. 

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