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Advice on amp and floor speaker purchase


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Hi there

I'm looking for some advice on a new purchase. I've got a budget of around 5k you spend on a new amplifier and some floor speakers.

 

I plan on keeping my turntable which is an NAD 533 and I have the NAD pre-amp. I'm open to an integrated amp, if best.

 

I would like some decent gear for the money that i could add a cd player to, and eventually upgrade the turntable. 

 

Any advice on speaker and amp combos for the budget would be a huge help 

 

Joel

Edited by Joelb3108
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Can't go wrong with these for your budget or a fair bit more. 

 

Highly respected Aussie manufacturer in Gold Coast. You can also ring them and have a chat to the guy that built and designed them.

 

 

They will do you for many iterations of amp upgrade.

 

I own 3 pairs of their speakers. And started off with an AVR amp until I quickly saw the light. 

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I would jump on the set of Tannoy Revolution 6 Loudspeakers in the SNA Classifieds at $1000 (In Sydney too!) Why not track down a NAD Power Amp or buy a new NAD Integrated  Power Amp. That would keep inside the budget. Also put some money into good loudspeaker cable and interconnects (Aurealis Audio is my preference; good value and fantastic build quality!)

Cheers

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Also, music taste is heavy metal/ rock/ alternative. Primarily vinyl, but also, with time, if like to invest in a good cd player

 

The room size I'm looking at is around 5x10 max. 

 

I'm currently running the turntable through a Marley Bluetooth system.

 

I wouldn't mind Bluetooth connectivity in the ammo, but not essential. 

 

I'm looking for decent audiophile entry recommendations

Thanks for the replies. All good options. I'm thinking about going to have a listen to some speakers and work backwards. 

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1 hour ago, Joelb3108 said:

I'm thinking about going to have a listen to some speakers and work backwards. 

Yes that’s a good idea. Listen to a bunch of speakers (with your music) and get a feel for what you like

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@Joelb3108 Do you know the type of sound you like? Warm/relaxing, Neutral/honest/revealing, Lively/lots of top end detail?

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Based on my experience with a similar budget and taste in music, I can recommend three things:

 

1) Audition, and if possible audition amp and speaker together - you may find that your ears don't agree with everything you've read online. 

 

2) At this price point don't be afraid to buck the trend and spend half or more on the amp - driving $4k speakers with a $1k amp tends not to result in as satisfying an experience as driving $2k speakers with a $3k amp, especially when you plan to crank it. In my living room I'm powering $2k KEFs with $3k of Rotel, and I doubt there's much that could better it for the price.

 

3) If buying second hand, be careful.

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9 hours ago, twofires said:

Based on my experience with a similar budget and taste in music, I can recommend three things:

 

1) Audition, and if possible audition amp and speaker together - you may find that your ears don't agree with everything you've read online. 

 

Ageed if possible. 

Quote

 

2) At this price point don't be afraid to buck the trend and spend half or more on the amp - driving $4k speakers with a $1k amp tends not to result in as satisfying an experience as driving $2k speakers with a $3k amp, especially when you plan to crank it. In my living room I'm powering $2k KEFs with $3k of Rotel, and I doubt there's much that could better it for the price.

The risk with this is you get left in no man's land on upgrade needing to start again. 

 

Whereas $3-4k on the right 2nd hand speakers goes a long way. And let's you get into something which would later benefit from a good DAC pre and monoblocks. 

 

Quote

 

3) If buying second hand, be careful.

 

Yes, but most likely the best option. 

 

I've saved 10s of $1000s buying second hand (on one purchase alone). My only new purchases have been one of my Lenehan pairs and an Oppo 205. And luckily for me the 205 has gone up. 

 

EDIT: I'm about $45k ahead buying second hand. 

Edited by DrSK
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10 minutes ago, DrSK said:

 

Ageed if possible. 

The risk with this is you get left in no man's land on upgrade needing to start again. 

 

Whereas $3-4k on the right 2nd hand speakers goes a long way. And let's you get into something which would later benefit from a good DAC pre and monoblocks. 

 

 

Yes, but most likely the best option. 

 

I've saved 10s of $1000s buying second hand (on one purchase alone). My only new purchases have been one of my Lenehan pairs and an Oppo 205. And luckily for me the 205 has gone up. 

 

EDIT: I'm about $45k ahead buying second hand. 

I agree that second hand is pretty great generally, especially on speakers, but I've also been done a couple of times. I'm still way ahead without having ever lowballed anyone, but there are definitely some sharks out there.

 

The problem with $4k on the right speakers is, in my view, you may miss the fact that the $2k speakers were the right speakers, they just dipped to 3ohms and your $1k amp couldn't deliver. I honestly believe that if you spend $4k of a $5k budget on modern speakers, your budget is actually going to wind up $7k pretty quickly. 

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11 minutes ago, twofires said:

I agree that second hand is pretty great generally, especially on speakers, but I've also been done a couple of times. I'm still way ahead without having ever lowballed anyone, but there are definitely some sharks out there.

 

The problem with $4k on the right speakers is, in my view, you may miss the fact that the $2k speakers were the right speakers, they just dipped to 3ohms and your $1k amp couldn't deliver. I honestly believe that if you spend $4k of a $5k budget on modern speakers, your budget is actually going to wind up $7k pretty quickly. 

 

Could happen. 

 

Personally for his budget at the moment, I'd take the $3k Lenehans on here in my link and I saw a $1k Redgum 120RGi amp either here or Gumtree recently plus a $650 DAC from Gieseler Audio. 

 

Then upgrade the Redgum as budget permits. 

 

Not going to lose money on these purchases maybe a few $100 at most. Plus all made in Australia with manufacturers who will back and help out on a 2nd hand purchase. 

Edited by DrSK
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At that price, I'd go Goldenear Triton 7 speakers and March p452 stereo power amp.

 

https://sydneyhifimonavale.com.au/collections/goldenear-technology/products/goldenear-triton-7-floorstanding-speakers

https://www.marchaudio.net.au/product-page/p452-stereo-power-amplifier

 

Note the March price is in USD, but it's just over 5k total AUD.

Edited by Ittaku
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14 hours ago, Joelb3108 said:

The room size I'm looking at is around 5x10 max. 

Just double checking this is 5m by 10m? 

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Guest Eggcup the Dafter

What model is the preamp? It might make a difference to what we recommend 

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The main consideration is your 5x10 room. That's big. You need speakers that move a lot of air. 

The March amp suggested above should drive these to satisfying levels for your music preferences. 

 

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Thanks for the advice, everyone. Super helpful. 

 

I went and looked at a couple of units this morning. I didn't have any of my own music, but will go back aftet doing more research. 

 

I looked at Martin Logan motion 60XTI, which I liked the sound of. It wad paired with a Cambridge AXR100. 

 

The search continues...

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10 hours ago, Eggcup the Dafter said:

What model is the preamp? It might make a difference to what we recommend 

The pre-amp is just an NAD PP-1.

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Posted (edited)

While I was really impressed with the Martin Logan speakers, they're taking 4k of the budget. While the Cambridge AXR100 hag plenty of power, it's really basic. I have concerns I may want to upgrade it not far into the future. 

 

For a number of reasons, I have to go new. 

 

Again, thanks so much for all the advice. This place is great

Edited by Joelb3108
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Guest Eggcup the Dafter
2 minutes ago, Joelb3108 said:

The pre-amp is just an NAD PP-1.

That's just a phono amp. You'll need an integrated for this setup and price at a guess.

New? Audition the Wharfedale Evo 4.3 and 4.4, they're among the best on the market in your price range. They're a bit difficult to find at the moment, i believe. I heard the 4.4 at Apollo and they are absolute beauties. They're not much cheaper than the MLs but should give you room for a slightly better amp if you want.

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Thanks. They look like good speakers. I'll go to Apollo and give then a listen of they're still there. 

 

Man, this is hard. It's one hell of a rabbit hole! Great fun, but just keen to find something. 

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Guest Eggcup the Dafter
50 minutes ago, Joelb3108 said:

Thanks. They look like good speakers. I'll go to Apollo and give then a listen of they're still there. 

 

Man, this is hard. It's one hell of a rabbit hole! Great fun, but just keen to find something. 

The things to remember are that there are relatively few real stinkers out there these days: that not everyone likes the same thing (you may not like the Wharfedales at all); and listen to several options before buying. Above all you need to feel good about your purchase. Doubts magnify over time...

 

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Nad makes some good streaming amps that you can find used here,( m10 ).Personally i would buy a Devialet expert 120 that you can find also used for about 3k and this gives you the option to factory upgrade latest. Regarding speakers, it's a very difficult question, heavy metal, rock, i guess you're not looking for accuracy, probably more on the dynamic, big, bassy side .Perhaps Jbl or Kipsch something.

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O ,and something different, class A audio was selling Dynaudio Focus 30 xd active wireless floorstanding speakers. At half price thy are a little more expensive than your budget 

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I have a simialar budget. am considering the summoner 3 ways with 12" driver from Adelaide speakers (1700k) paired with .... too many options arggghh.

New- MF m5si (3.5k)

Rega elicit r

Exposure 2010 etc

Used- naim xs3 -(3.5)

Electrocompaniet ec4) 3.5k

Perreaux

Parasound...

Lots of good used integrated and seperates for around 3.5k.

I feel Auditions can be useful but I suspect deceiving aswel given the ithe importance of the listening space and auditioning your exact speakers with the amp. Sometimes i think you just have to take the punt...

Goodluck.

 

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On 05/03/2021 at 9:53 PM, Joelb3108 said:

Man, this is hard. It's one hell of a rabbit hole! Great fun, but just keen to find something. 

 

Yeah! it is a rabbit hole - welcome to the dark side!

 

Since you're in Sydney, do give Len Wallis Audio in Lane Cove a visit. I have dealt with them in the past and can highly recommend them for guiding you and sound advice.

 

Best advice I can give is to audition as much as you can. Enough and more options in Sydney

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So, I auditioned some Triangle Esprit Antal which I really liked the sound of. There is room in my budget to include the centre speaker given they're second hand. Obviously, that's a HT option.

 

I was tempted by the SR5015 instead of the NAD 388 which I was looking at in some depth. 

 

The question i have is whether my desire for good music system would be compromised by blending everything with a HT amp? Or, should i just get the two floor speakers with the NAD 388???

 

Man - too many options....

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37 minutes ago, Joelb3108 said:

So, I auditioned some Triangle Esprit Antal which I really liked the sound of. There is room in my budget to include the centre speaker given they're second hand. Obviously, that's a HT option.

 

I was tempted by the SR5015 instead of the NAD 388 which I was looking at in some depth. 

 

The question i have is whether my desire for good music system would be compromised by blending everything with a HT amp? Or, should i just get the two floor speakers with the NAD 388???

 

Man - too many options....

 

It seems like there are a few versions of the Antal, but all of them have a minimum impedance below 4ohms. The most recent Ez goes down to 3ohms according to Triangle. The SR5015 may handle it, but based on my experience running similar speakers with an SR6009, it will get very, very hot.

 

Happily, it looks like (and don't quote me on this) the SR5015 has a full set of single-ended pre-outs, so if you really want to loop everything through the Marantz, just get a power amp (or seven) to do the heavy lifting. As mentioned earlier in this thread, some March Audio power amps will do the job nicely (with the appropriate xlr to RCA cable), and if you ever get bored of surround sound, they will still pair well with a quality stereo pre.

 

Having said all that, the NAD will cope with 3ohms just fine.

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Posted (edited)

That's all really helpful, thanks. 

 

I did see that i could run a power amp off the Marantz if I wanted to. That said, I really didn't want to feel a need to upgrade or add for a while if I didn't have to. 

 

I'm also conscious about crowding the tv with the turntable etc, so I'm leaning towards just staying with a dedicated hifi setup instead of the blended HT/HiFi setup. TBH, i'd never really considered using the system for HT, but the option opened up a possibility. 

 

The other concern i have is that the system will be tied to the TV/receiver if/when i move house and want to put it into another room.

Edited by Joelb3108
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

So, finally settled on the Triangle Esprit Antal EZ and the NAD C 388 all slightly under my budget. 

Extremely happy with the speakers and found that they matched really well with the NAD amp - better than what I auditioned them with. White wasn't my first choice, but couldn't go past them for the price.

I aim to get the turntable up higher once i can extend the cable for the phono amp, thigh I may not bother.

It's the start of the journey and can't wait to continue upgrading. 

Thanks so much for all the advice

20210318_205710.jpg

Edited by Joelb3108
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Guest Eggcup the Dafter

Things might improve further if you bring the speakers fractionally forward and experiment a little with toe-in. 
 

I say this just because the right speaker is so close to the side wall. 
 

if you have a bare floor, a rug to reduce floor reflections might also help as reported by so many others.

 

The next stage is to enjoy your new system. That’s the exciting bit. Now you can listen more widely, get to know other music, and find out more about what makes up the music you already love. Much more fun than fretting over amplifier choices. Go and at least lurk in the music threads here for starters.

 

Well done!

Edited by Eggcup the Dafter
Typo
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1 minute ago, Eggcup the Dafter said:

Things might improve further if you bring the speakers fractionally forward and experiment a little with toe-in. 
 

I say this just because the right speaker is so close to the side wall. 
 

if you have a bare floor, a rug to reduce floor reflections might also help as reported by so many others.

 

The next stage is to enjoy your new system. That’s the exciting bit. Now you ca listen more widely, get to know other music, and find out more about what makes up the music you already love. Much more fun than fretting over amplifier choices. Go and at least lurk in the music threads here for starters.

 

Well done!

 Thanks for this. When playing, I do shift them both forward and toe-in slightly. Just keeping them out of the way of the kids when not in use. 

I think the front port on the Triangles helps slightly with the positioning.

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