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Hello,

 

First time poster, long time lurker. I have recently moved house and have found myself listing to a lot more music both vinyl and digital.

I'm looking for some advice in relation to the direction i take with regard to improving the overall performance of the system.

 

 

 

Current setup:

 

Rega planar 3 of yesteryear with tangospinner subplatter, bearing and pulley w/ shure m91 cart

Pro-ject phono box 

Cambridge audio dacmagic 

dada upgraded quad 405

musical fidelity elektra e200 preamp

dali 808 speakers 

bunnings speaker wire 

acoustic research rca interconnects

 

My listening is half half digital/analgue

 

I'm of the mind that a new set of speakers is the way forward. I am looking at a set of quad 23l's (i guess in keeping with the british theme).

Does anyone have any feelings toward these?

I also plan on auditioning a few sets of speakers but my budget is up to $1500. Any other speakers that i should be on the hunt for? Ideally second hand for bang for buck.

 

 

I have taken the attitude that given the current setup, spending a heap on speaker wire is probably unnecessary.  

Having spoken to many on the topic, it appears that good wire makes more of an impact than one would expect.  

Is it worth it?

 

Would it be better to invest in a better DAC, cart, phono stage or amp(s) and spend less on a set of speakers?

I know it can be highly subjective, but basically what would you guys do in this situation?

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

20180605_230715-001.jpg

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Posted (edited)

OK $1500.

id hang onto the TT, the dac, pre and power amp for now. 

 

I’d spend on better speakers, a new cart, and maybe a better phono stage.

 

The Rega is a very decent turntable with these mods, and I suspect the cartridge  is letting things down. I don’t know the M91 but I think i’d be upgrading that. Maybe an Ortofon 2m Blue or similar. I’m sure people will jump in with good economical suggestions. 

 

Speakers - $1000 will get you some pretty decent speakers in the used market. Keep an eye on the classifieds here.

 

 What music do you listen to?

 

Id also get a cheap fix like this for under your TT. Sitting it on a piece of thin chipboard isn’t real good.

https://www.kmart.com.au/product/bamboo-cutting-board-large/716303

 

 

Edited by buddyev

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First thing is to ditch and burn the Dac magic. They are horrible.

Second is to buy a better cart and 3rd is to buy some decent cables especially for the TT.

 

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Change the cartridge and phono stage, some decent speaker cables, let the system sound settle, next phase speakers, one component at a time  

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35 minutes ago, buddyev said:

 

 

 What music do you listen to?

 

Id also get a cheap fix like this for under your TT. Sitting it on a piece of thin chipboard isn’t real good.

https://www.kmart.com.au/product/bamboo-cutting-board-large/716303

 

 

I listen to almost everything. Bar anything even remotely resembling gangster rap or country music. 

 

I meant to mention the pos table. Temporary solution it's on the way out. 

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26 minutes ago, rantan said:

 

First thing is to ditch and burn the Dac magic. They are horrible.

Second is to buy a better cart and 3rd is to buy some decent cables especially for the TT.

 

Interesting. I bought the dacmagic ages ago for $100. To be honest I haven't listened to that many dacs. I will endeavour to look at a few more. Any suggestions? 

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2 minutes ago, SmokeSupposedToComeOut? said:

Interesting. I bought the dacmagic ages ago for $100. To be honest I haven't listened to that many dacs. I will endeavour to look at a few more. Any suggestions? 

The DacMagic is very dated. Dacs are a real rabbithole but you don’t need to spend much to get pretty good performance these days. These Topping dacs are a budget option - check this thread - ask questions.

 

 

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1 hour ago, buddyev said:

The DacMagic is very dated. Dacs are a real rabbithole but you don’t need to spend much to get pretty good performance these days. These Topping dacs are a budget option - check this thread - ask questions.

 

 

Thoughts on this https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-airist-audio-r-2r-dac ?

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1 hour ago, buddyev said:

what about this?

Good suggestion, Peachtree gear is very good and very affordable, they get an excellent sound out of the Sabre dac chip, this would be a good buy IMO.

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Posted (edited)

So the end result was a set of Quad 23L floorstanding speakers, a MicroMega MyDAC and QED silver XT cables for under $1600.
I dealt with Kevin from Class A Audio in Blackburn. He was terrific.

The Quads sound wonderful, especially with instrumentals and vocals. Bass is very subdued in comparison to the Dalis. 

 

  

20180610_124420.jpg

Edited by SmokeSupposedToComeOut?

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I would add floor rug in front of the speakers and isoacoustics speaker stands (puk). 

Cheers,

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@SmokeSupposedToComeOut? good review on the speakers, the quad 405 is a lovely neutral sounding amp, a friend had one years ago with mission 770s speakers, it rocked when it needed to, something to try at almost zero dollars, try putting a brick on top of the 405 and have a critical listen, these were some of the neanderthal tweaks before mass production of different products, enjoy the music

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I’d be surprised if the bass wasn’t as noticeable with the quads look how many big drivers the Dalis have by comparison. The question really is, do you think the music is better now?

a well integrated little sub will help the bottom end, but you’ll need to spend nearly as much as you did on your speakers to get something worthwhile 

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12 hours ago, Gremrock said:

I’d be surprised if the bass wasn’t as noticeable with the quads look how many big drivers the Dalis have by comparison. The question really is, do you think the music is better now?

a well integrated little sub will help the bottom end, but you’ll need to spend nearly as much as you did on your speakers to get something worthwhile 

I didn't intend on that comment being percieved as a complaint. The quads each have a downward firing passive driver that aids below 450hz. They provide a reasonable amount of bass. It's tight, fast and clear. It supports the music as opposed to being the main feature. If i was to have a critisicm though it would be that the speakers are a little bright are fairly unforgiving on poorly mastered/recorded audio.

 

As for the DAC. Basically the usb driver doesnt work after the latest update of windows 10... So i'm using the ASIO4ALL driver which is a bit clunky. I havent listened to it side by side with the CA so i cant gauge any improvement. 

 

To answer your question. Music is better now

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I didn’t really read it as a complaint more a comment and wanted to offer an opinion so you didn’t think it’s  something  wrong etc. you appear to have them well into the room, if you push them back towards walls you’ll get a boost in the bottom end, but it may not be positive overall, can certainly try though, and if they’re downward firing you can get away with it better than front facing rear potted speakers wil. Few commercial produced speakers have exceptional bass without a sub, but you need a good one or don’t bother :)

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when you say the bass is more subdued, are talking about rumble and slam or detail and frequency or both?

 

I'd take bass detail over rumble and slam any day of the week when listening to music. Rumble and slam are good though so long as it retains the musicality and detail.

 

Edit: Whoops, missed your last post @SmokeSupposedToComeOut?, I really wasn't paying attention, sorry.

 

 

 

Edited by MIKE.D79

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If you are 'colour blind'  (like me).....my humble suggestion is:

 

DAC - Gustard DAC x-9 (around $500.00)

Phono - Valab LRC (Around 1k)

 

Enjoy the journey......

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I guess you're done spending for now but there's one more upgrade you ought to do and that's your equipment stand. The chip board that the rega is sitting on wont extract the most. Stands are funny things. You'll be surprised as to what can work. For lps extraneous vibrations need to be isolated. If poss, hang it off a brick wall if that's one in the back. If not poss then try to solidify equipment stand. Your wood floor is not helping from a sonic view. What i found works for me was using a glass base for the tt to sit on and under that use spikes. Try that in your situation. Cost very little. Another material is marble or stone which can scrounge from suppliers as offcuts. Marble didnt work for me as music deadened a bit. But then my tt is hanging off the wall and so is only subject to air vibrations. Have a look on the racks on the net for ideas. Some of them work but are very costly.

 

Depending on how much you listen to lps in comparison the cart and phono stage should be next. If you dont listen to them as much then perhaps not.

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53 minutes ago, wahoo said:

I guess you're done spending for now but there's one more upgrade you ought to do and that's your equipment stand. The chip board that the rega is sitting on wont extract the most. Stands are funny things. You'll be surprised as to what can work. For lps extraneous vibrations need to be isolated. If poss, hang it off a brick wall if that's one in the back. If not poss then try to solidify equipment stand. Your wood floor is not helping from a sonic view. What i found works for me was using a glass base for the tt to sit on and under that use spikes. Try that in your situation. Cost very little. Another material is marble or stone which can scrounge from suppliers as offcuts. Marble didnt work for me as music deadened a bit. But then my tt is hanging off the wall and so is only subject to air vibrations. Have a look on the racks on the net for ideas. Some of them work but are very costly.

 

Depending on how much you listen to lps in comparison the cart and phono stage should be next. If you dont listen to them as much then perhaps not.

As mentioned in a previous post, that table's days are numbered. There's a guy i've found with a bunch of granite offcuts i'm going to aquire. I plan on using two pieces, the bottom with sorbothane domes and springs inbetween them. I also have some of the famous ikea bamboo chopping boards which i plan on experimenting with. I've read people having success with using a combination of timber and stone. 

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If you like the Shure "house" sound an upgrade to the 91 would be a V15 if you can find one and maybe go mad like did and fit a Jico neo SAS stylus, about $500 all up.

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Hello, welcome to SNA, and what a nice piece of new kit! I really like the idea of a British theme.

 

What I would like to suggest is a really plush, large rug between the speakers and you, extending at least as wide as the speakers, and preferably with a nice grade of felt carpet underlay between it and the floor.

 

All the best with your new journey,

cheers

Grant

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Which dacmagic was it? Is the dacmagic 100 actually better than the original (though it is half the rrp)?

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On 6/6/2018 at 11:24 PM, SmokeSupposedToComeOut? said:

There's a big debacle on this DAC because apparently it's suspected to be a direct copy of someone else's design. I was going to order but i'm afraid there will be legal problems later on and shipment is going to be delayed etc. 

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-airist-audio-r-2r-dac/talk/2098625

 

They said it's inspired by Soekris DAC (amongst other things)

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On 15/06/2018 at 3:57 PM, Andre28 said:

Which dacmagic was it? Is the dacmagic 100 actually better than the original (though it is half the rrp)?

The original dacmagic, the silver one.

On 15/06/2018 at 4:06 PM, synthz said:

There's a big debacle on this DAC because apparently it's suspected to be a direct copy of someone else's design. I was going to order but i'm afraid there will be legal problems later on and shipment is going to be delayed etc. 

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-airist-audio-r-2r-dac/talk/2098625

 

They said it's inspired by Soekris DAC (amongst other things)

Yeh i did a bit of reading into this. I think the design was plagiarised from a chinese DIYer (a bit of irony there). I doubt they will have legal issues as i dont think the guy who designed it filed any patents. 

The resistor ladder design on the face of it seems great but as a few people have pointed out, due to the nature of the design, resistor values have to be extremely accurate. Given that resistor values vary depending on environmental factors namely temperature, the device is not able to produce true 24 bit. Not even close. I think i read somewhere that the effective number of bits would be 10-12 or so. 

 

 

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