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Help upgrading from a 30-year-old system please


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I bought a nice Yamaha/Wharfdale sound system from Len Wallis Audio in Sydney NSW in 1990 (amp, CD player and two good speakers). It has been a great, reliable sound system but after a while the LED that showed the amp was on died and recently the CD player won't turn on any more. Browsing, it seems a lot has happened in the world of hifi in the past 30 years and I am sadly out of date - it seems like most components can now link by bluetooth rather than cables and I could stream my smart TV and NAS through a sound system.

Can any kind soul in the know bring me up to date with hifi capabilities and what I should plan for a replacement please? I would like to still play CDs, stream music off my NAS, link my TV to an amp and speakers, and also play vinyl.

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Morning

Len Wallis is still there.

I am assuming your speakers are still good. 

Bluetooth is not really for HiFi IMO. It is possible to stream from a device to amps/receivers/speakers via bluetooth and from certain equipment to headphones if you wish.

Wifi is good for streaming - you can stream from the internet or from your NAS.

You could buy an integrated amp that can do all the streaming as well as amplify or you could go separates as in a streamer and then an amp. You could also look at the modern AVR's.

Things to look at for is how you connect your TV and turntable to the amp/receiver, especially as nowadays a phono amp is either not included or poor quality.

The options depend on your current equipment and budget.

It is a steep learning curve - all the best and enjoy the journey.

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Do you have a budget?  It will help guide discussions.

 

Instead of a CD player, some people are using a CD transport feeding into a DAC. Eg. CA CXC in Classifieds

Given you are on a steep learning curve, suggest getting something with BluOS from BlueSound.  This is probably the easiest to set up and use phone/tablet App (one of the things you will learn).  I tend to favour simplified setups and suggest one of following all-in-ones: 

https://klappav.com.au/products/powernode-2i-wireless-multi-room-music-streaming-amplifier-black

 

https://klappav.com.au/products/m10-bluos-streaming-amplifier?_pos=1&_sid=78a45850c&_ss=r

 

(Klapp AV have a sale now, no association with them).

 

If you can afford it, consider the M33, just coming out, maybe hard to get in Australia at the moment.

https://www.soundandvision.com/content/nad-masters-m33-streaming-integrated-amplifier-review

 

 

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As well as info on budget, music tastes and room size, what Wharfedale speakers you have to keep or want to change, although they may still do the job well at a certain price point.

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Thanks all for your helpful replies. I'll digest and come back with more info. My budget is a modest $2000, I don't think I could justify more than that. I suspect a replacement setup may look very different from what I have now.

 

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If you like the sound of the Yamaha then think about getting it repaired and maybe some of the old electronic components replaced, especially as it's a known quantity with your speakers.

New amps are unlikely to have a phono input—especially if they are designed around streaming. A good used unit would be much cheaper, try the classifieds here.

The CD player is probably not worth a repair and these have come a long way since the '90s, so a replacement is in order.

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20 hours ago, Duinne said:

Thanks all for your helpful replies. I'll digest and come back with more info. My budget is a modest $2000, I don't think I could justify more than that. I suspect a replacement setup may look very different from what I have now.

 

Why not pop into Len Wallis when they reopen on Tuesday and have a chat to Kiet, he will be able to direct you even with your modest budget of $2000 to a great sound system. They have a secondhand section and it has plenty to offer with 3 month warranty on all the secondhand stock. I’m sure a modest but great sounding system can be sourced from Len Wallis again which will bring you further years of great musical experiences. 

 

PS

You can audition things there and then and decide for yourself, which is the best scenario when looking at a new system. You mentioned yourself, things have progressed technology wise since your previous purchase and you may find yourself not requiring as many items in the system as before. Best to have a chat to Kiet and he will be more than happy to address all your questions 
Neo

Edited by Neo
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6 hours ago, GregWormald said:

If you like the sound of the Yamaha then think about getting it repaired

+1

Or replace with a 40+year old amp like a CA-2010, CA-1010 or CA-1000. Some decent gear from that vintage from Sansui, Marantz, Pioneer, Kenwood,,,, Not familar with the A/AX range

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On 25/12/2020 at 1:20 PM, Duinne said:

I bought a nice Yamaha/Wharfdale sound system from Len Wallis Audio in Sydney NSW in 1990 (amp, CD player and two good speakers). It has been a great, reliable sound system but after a while the LED that showed the amp was on died and recently the CD player won't turn on any more. Browsing, it seems a lot has happened in the world of hifi in the past 30 years and I am sadly out of date - it seems like most components can now link by bluetooth rather than cables and I could stream my smart TV and NAS through a sound system.

Can any kind soul in the know bring me up to date with hifi capabilities and what I should plan for a replacement please? I would like to still play CDs, stream music off my NAS, link my TV to an amp and speakers, and also play vinyl.

Depending on what model Wharfedale you have, they may well be OK for using with any upgrade. 1990's I am going to 'assume' they are not the Valdus, Modus Zaldek 's etc? (Hopefully Diamond or even Crystal).

  CD, best buy a new one, tbh, the advancements made in CD even a budget modern player will outperform 90% of the 'hifi' CD players of that era.

  If you want to use Vinyl on a modest budget, I'd strongly suggest checking out the s/hand ads here (ask advice as you are doing) or look at s/hand ones in local dealers. A good amp plus a good external phono stage will not be 'cheap' purchased new.

   Once the Model of the speakers is known, folks on here will have  better idea of the amp that may suit them well. (power/sonic characteristics)    

Edited by Graywulf
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On 28/12/2020 at 6:13 PM, Duinne said:

Hi all, the speakers are CRS-3s.

 if it were me, (and you have both the room and WAF = wife acceptance factor) I'd go for a pair of floorstanders,  if you want to keep to Wharfedale (sound signature) Then (they are quite large)  the Diamond 9.6, or Evo, Evo2, Opus or Jade ranges, they will be a noticeable upgrade from the CS3's as front/main speakers. S/hand they would be picked up very reasonably priced.

  I am not into AVR rigs, so have no real knowledge of decent amplifiers in that area.

 

 

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Your old Wharfedale speakers could still do the job of say a $500 new speaker, but it is really only worth about $50-100 used and it’s time to move on. Even by 1990 standards it was a modest cheap speaker though I do recall an old magazine review saying it sounded better than average.

 

For $2k you can still get a reasonable new or a much better used 5-10 year old reliable system that will bring you into current standards and format.

 

For example, a new system whatever available in shops like $600-900 Rotel, Marantz, Cambridge Audio or similar integrated amp or combined amp/DAC/streamer unit (Yamaha etc); $300-500 Yamaha or similar CD player to play your old collection; Audio streamer /DAC of some kind for $300-500 to play 50,000+ song libraries of internet music downloads and computer drive stored music (convert your old CDs); and speakers like $300-500 Wharfedale Diamonds or many others.

 

An example, $2k used system under 10 years old that was worth around $5k new and much better sound - $300-900 Roksan, Musical Fidelity and other integrated amps (Yamaha AS700 for $250 in NSW Gumtree); better quality used CD player that was up to $2k new for around $600; $300-600 Audio streamer like a Cambridge Audio or Pioneer/Yamaha unit; and plethora of very good $300-900 used or kit speakers like Wagner bookshelves, Focal, Dynaudio, B&W, Krix, Jamo, Kef, Monitor Audio, Wharfedale, Spendor etc. look around and see what looks impressive, google reviews or ask here with specific models that you notice available at the time.

 

 

Edited by Al.M
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