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The new system research phase..


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Hello all-

 

I will be looking at a new system in the next year hopefully (once the house renovation is complete). Being that it's impossible to do too much research, I thought I'd start early and get some wisdom from the audiophiles on here.

Current setup is:

 

Windows laptop using Roon to Chord Mojo, and AVI DM10 (including their sub). Music files are mostly hi-res with Qobuz as my streaming service of choice.

 

I'm generally very happy with the sound of the DM10 for the money. However, I feel that I want to improve on some aspects. I do feel there is a slight colouration and warmth to the sound, which can lead to a slight loss of interest over extended listening sessions. I think I'm looking for a bit more detail and separation, without wanting it to be clinical. More realism I think is what I'm looking for (probably what everyone is looking for).

 

So, with a budget of $10k (including cables) I am asking the good people of these forums to suggest complete systems so I can perhaps start listening. I live in Perth, so once borders open fully and risk of death is lessened I might be able to demo in Melbourne/Sydney.

 

Thank you in advance. Please feel free to ask for more information on set up or sound characteristics.

Dan.

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On 17/11/2020 at 1:53 PM, Crabsticks said:

So, with a budget of $10k (including cables) I am asking the good people of these forums to suggest complete systems so I can perhaps start listening.

 

The new KEF LS50W II should hit stores for demo soon hopefully. You should definitely have a listen

 

You can sell your DAC and pre, as each driver of these speakers have their own DAC and own amplifier:

 

If you're using a Windows laptop, you just need a nice USB-to-optical converter like this:

 

https://www.minidsp.com/products/usb-audio-interface/usbstreamer-box

 

The LS50 W II is quite future proof with lots of ethernet streaming inputs (Airplay 2, Chromecast Built-in, Spotfiy Connect, Tidal Connect) and bluetooth input.

 

Each speaker also has it's own sub output. So you can very easily integrate one or two subs, now or later.

 

Leaves plenty of room in the budget for a pair of big subs to give full range performance.

Edited by rand129678
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A couple of decisions to make first.   Are you after a simplified setup or will you prefer picking and choosing multiple components ie. DAC, preamp, amp, speakers, cables ?  Many people like the idea of adding and changing components.  I used to do that but now prefer simplified setups.

 

Secondly, do you want passive or active speakers?  Speakers are often a personal preference, and ideally should be selected after auditioning.  Speaker brands often have a sound signature.  

 

With a $10K budget,  here are some ideas for simplified systems, 2 with passive speakers, 2 are active speakers plus.

  • Naim Uniti Atom, excellent all-in-one
  • NAD C658 streamer/DAC/preamp + NAD C298 (Purifi amp)
  • Radical option with a pair of Devialet Phantom Golds
  • Buchardt A500 (mentioned earlier) is an intriguing option, apparently able to compete with much more expensive setups
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20 hours ago, rand129678 said:

 

The new KEF LS50W II should hit stores for demo soon hopefully. You should definitely have a listen.

 

I absolutely will have a listen, thanks.

 

19 hours ago, genkifd said:

have a look at Buchardt A500 also. pitty you cannot audition them locally but they do have a return policy.

 

Stunning looking speakers. I'd buy them on looks alone! I'll add them to the research list thanks.

13 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

A couple of decisions to make first.   Are you after a simplified setup or will you prefer picking and choosing multiple components ie. DAC, preamp, amp, speakers, cables ?  Many people like the idea of adding and changing components.  I used to do that but now prefer simplified setups.

 

 

Well I could go either way to be honest. I love hi-fi in all it's forms, but I have found my current active speaker set up (particularly with the Mojo as DAC), to be the best performer I've owned, despite owning systems of higher cost.

 

The simplified boxes are appealing. My partner appreciates good music, but is not a fan of turning all the things on/off in a certain order.

 

Thanks for the links, I will be researching!

 

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On 22/11/2020 at 1:56 AM, genkifd said:

have a look at Buchardt A500 also.

 

I haven't stopped looking at these! Read some of the excellent reviews, they seem to be not only excellent performers but capable of considerable system flexibility.

 

I just wonder about the digitising of the analogue signal you run into it from the balanced input on each speaker. Whether it would irk me having a DSD file converted to 24bit 96kHz? I mean, could I tell? Probably not, but you know... I'll know.

 

I guess it's because in order for it's very clever DSP system to work as they've designed it, the audio has to be processed in a specific way. So basically sell the Mojo and any other equipment. I'd need to be very convinced before doing that..

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6 minutes ago, Crabsticks said:

I just wonder about the digitising of the analogue signal you run into it from the balanced input on each speaker. Whether it would irk me having a DSD file converted to 24bit 96kHz? I mean, could I tell? Probably not, but you know... I'll know.

 

I guess it's because in order for it's very clever DSP system to work as they've designed it, the audio has to be processed in a specific way. So basically sell the Mojo and any other equipment. I'd need to be very convinced before doing that..

For Digital Signal processing to work, by definition it will need to convert the analog XLR signal to digital.  The default reaction is to shudder at the additional A2D step and lament at the loss of SQ.  But is it so ?  The designers are betting that DSP  will more than make up for any loss in SQ due to the A2D step.  

 

Running DSP on DSD will require a huge amount of processing power, hence it is easier & cheaper to convert DSD to PCM before applying DSP.  Whether one can hear a difference between DSP and PCM is system dependent.  Note that the same master MUST be used to compare DSD and PCM. 2L do provide this in their free test bench.

 

Some people embrace DSP with music (am in this camp), others prefer "unadulterated" music.  If you cannot get rid of the "I'll know" feeling, then suggest avoiding DSP.  There are plenty of options without using DSP.

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19 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

The default reaction is to shudder at the additional A2D step and lament at the loss of SQ.  But is it so? 

 

I guess the true test is via the ears! I think your right though, I'd need to mentally adjust to accept that locked in bit rate. If it sounds great, well then I guess all is well.

 

Reading the review of the System Audio Legend 5 by Gordon Brockhouse, he seemed to suggest the same thing. WiSA is the thing that you have to accept, but the sound quality is there.

 

The option to purchase, demo and return the A500's if unsatisfied is a stroke of genius. I'd certainly have them on the shortlist. 

 

I'll check that test bench link out too thanks.

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