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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:45 am 
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chromewaves wrote:

what are the shortcomings of the Brio? Does it lack the power to properly drive them? I've been reading about the Dynaudios and Totems and they seem to be a good match for the Rega.


There is nothing wrong with the Brio, but like everything else it will be at its best when put in the right system. There are cheaper Totem and Dynaudio lines which would suit the Brio better.
Keep in mind how much you'd like to spend long term on this.
My opinion on your priorities
1. competent speaker in the 2k range - Rega, Spendor, Harbeth, Xcite series can all come close either new or used. I recommend this based on my low opinion of Paradigm for communicating music.
2. Turntable upgrade - it used to be a rule of thumb that 50% of your budget should be the turntable (conveniently posited by a turntable manufacturer of course). But given there are no shortcuts in engineering a good table I'm inclined to agree, if vinyl is your preferred medium. The difference between a rega rp8 and an rp3 is vast, for example. If you overspend on speakers you'll miss this opportunity. And you won't need the priciest speakers to appreciate that improvement.

These two upgrades could go the distance if you choose. Not cheap, but you can keep the amp.

These are only my opinion - there are many ways to skin the proverbial cat - it's up to you to weigh your options and find what's right for you. You will hear many opinions - weigh them all.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:31 am 
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one step at a time to reach the audiophile level of "just one more step"..!!
Speakers
Preamp
Amp
Phono preamp
Cartridge
Turntable

In that order....I agree with the rest, speakers are extremely important, but crap in, crap out, though with what you have, no worries about crap in...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:57 am 
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hollinger wrote:

All of those speaker choices would require an amp upgrade. Can you give him a suggestion that would let him keep his amp?


"Require"? Naw. Would the Brio get max performance out of them? No. But "require" is a bit extreme, and I am a source first guy.

Why not grab some good speakers and be done with it?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:00 am 
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yeah I think i'm setting on getting some new speakers to scratch this itch. I agree with the GIGO principle, but don't really think my Rega P3-24/Exact combo qualifies as garbage...

in any case, I'm presently looking at KEF R300s, Dynaudio X14s, and maybe some Totem Skys. you could say my budget is around $2k new, though ideally I'd score something used and put the difference towards stands.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:02 am 
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hollinger wrote:
James_W wrote:
The first thing I would do is drop the Paradigms and get one of the below speakers if you want to keep the budget under $2k. Get new speakers in to your listening room and decide if the amp needs to be changed.

KEF R300 or LS50
Dynaudio Focus 160
Totem Hawk, Sky or Forest
Proac Response 1.5
Revel M106 or F36

Magnepan 1.7 or 1.7i are an easy recommendation but an amp change would be mandatory. As you get close to $2k and above there are other speakers I'd recommend.


All of those speaker choices would require an amp upgrade. Can you give him a suggestion that would let him keep his amp? Musicality is really the Paradigm's failing. There are better choices (and cheaper) that would suit the brio more.

Can you provide me with your detailed findings matching each of the speakers with the Brio-R?

I know having tried it myself that the Revel and Proac choices sound good with the Rega. As stated in my original response any of the other speakers the OP can try in room then decide how he feels about the amp at that point. I'm aware of all the speaker stats but the Brio can be surprisingly adequate for such a little amp and it doesn't hurt to try... better than getting him to ditch it without experimentation even If a change is likely. Start with the speakers and then build around it as necessary, this will be the best return on investment in your situation.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:31 am 
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If you are looking at used these Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand got posted today in your neck of the woods. You probably won't a find better speaker at $1600 used. Effortlessly musical with impressive bottom end and a huge jump from the Paradigm 20's. The footprint is smaller than some bookshelf + stand setups.

https://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details ... ano-black/


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:16 am 
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chromewaves wrote:
yeah I think i'm setting on getting some new speakers to scratch this itch. I agree with the GIGO principle, but don't really think my Rega P3-24/Exact combo qualifies as garbage...

in any case, I'm presently looking at KEF R300s, Dynaudio X14s, and maybe some Totem Skys. you could say my budget is around $2k new, though ideally I'd score something used and put the difference towards stands.
If you are planning on keeping them a long time (which I assume you are) I would take a look at the X18's as well, they are well worth it for the deeper bass.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:36 am 
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chromewaves wrote:
yeah I think i'm setting on getting some new speakers to scratch this itch. I agree with the GIGO principle, but don't really think my Rega P3-24/Exact combo qualifies as garbage...

in any case, I'm presently looking at KEF R300s, Dynaudio X14s, and maybe some Totem Skys. you could say my budget is around $2k new, though ideally I'd score something used and put the difference towards stands.


What other speakers and systems have you listened to? Have you heard better/worse sound at friends' places?

I think that the more background experience you have with hearing various combos the better informed your next steps...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:39 am 
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fifthbusiness wrote:
chromewaves wrote:
yeah I think i'm setting on getting some new speakers to scratch this itch. I agree with the GIGO principle, but don't really think my Rega P3-24/Exact combo qualifies as garbage...

in any case, I'm presently looking at KEF R300s, Dynaudio X14s, and maybe some Totem Skys. you could say my budget is around $2k new, though ideally I'd score something used and put the difference towards stands.


What other speakers and systems have you listened to? Have you heard better/worse sound at friends' places?

I think that the more background experience you have with hearing various combos the better informed your next steps...


before I bought the Paradigms some 15 years ago, I listened to a lot of stuff from brands that don't seem to be available much anymore (Mission, Mordaunt Short, NHT) at retailers that don't exist anymore (Kromer, where I got the Paradigms). It has been a very long time so I'm basically starting at zero as far as knowing what sounds like what in comparison to what, save for my setup which I objectively think sounds good, but is also so familiar now that it just sounds like it sounds. If that makes any sense.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:58 am 
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chromewaves wrote:
fifthbusiness wrote:
chromewaves wrote:
yeah I think i'm setting on getting some new speakers to scratch this itch. I agree with the GIGO principle, but don't really think my Rega P3-24/Exact combo qualifies as garbage...

in any case, I'm presently looking at KEF R300s, Dynaudio X14s, and maybe some Totem Skys. you could say my budget is around $2k new, though ideally I'd score something used and put the difference towards stands.


What other speakers and systems have you listened to? Have you heard better/worse sound at friends' places?

I think that the more background experience you have with hearing various combos the better informed your next steps...


before I bought the Paradigms some 15 years ago, I listened to a lot of stuff from brands that don't seem to be available much anymore (Mission, Mordaunt Short, NHT) at retailers that don't exist anymore (Kromer, where I got the Paradigms). It has been a very long time so I'm basically starting at zero as far as knowing what sounds like what in comparison to what, save for my setup which I objectively think sounds good, but is also so familiar now that it just sounds like it sounds. If that makes any sense.


Totally makes sense to me...I had something similar a few years back and I spent a lot of time taking some beers to friends' places and listening to their systems. I also went around to several different stores to listen. At least I could identify a few common points of what I didn't like that seemed consistent with some brands...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:17 pm 
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Hollinger writes, "The difference between a rega rp8 and an rp3 is vast, for example. If you overspend on speakers you'll miss this opportunity. And you won't need the priciest speakers to appreciate that improvement." I agree point for point. A Rega dealer, in particular, should be pleased to demonstrate. A more resolving speaker ( the ProAc Response series are the ones I'm familiar with here ) will not flatter an RP3 level turntable but a big jump in turntable performance will improve everything with no downside.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:16 pm 
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the idea of a new turntable has also been firmly planted in my mind, but I think that will wait until after I've addressed the speakers. I've had those much longer, and as I mentioned I think my P3/24 setup sounds pretty good, though I would certainly love to hear what the Planar 6 can do.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:51 pm 
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I would steer clear away from Dynaudio and Totem speakers, though that's just me. I've always been pleasantly surprised at audio shows upon listening to the room with an all-rega system. I really don't think you can go wrong in at least auditioning some regas, especially if you can compare them to Dynaudio and/or Totem...KEF I really have no opinion of...
Room treatments may or may not be in the cards, but if you can, it'd likely be worthwhile assuming you can get it 'right' the first time without worrying about every last possible measurement from that point on (many people seem to harp on and on about them without realizing that not everyone is able to do them (and many people just count themselves lucky that they can even have a stereo :P )
Last, just try to get out to listen to music, both on other people's systems, and live, and see what it really is that you're looking for. You may find some sort of epiphany and realize that you've really wanted something entirely different all this time. On the other hand you may find that you're actually happy, and just spending too much time thinking about it :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:35 am 
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My 2 cents:

Your P3-24 is a pretty decent table, don't discount it's ability, especially as it has the 24v motor. I presume it has the rb300/301 arm, which is ok, but is a bit of a roadblock imho. The real issue is with the exact, that would be the first thing I would replace. You can go with a nice MC (a grand will give you some excellent choices in an MC, but you'll need something to make it work with the BRIO, an SUT (Rothwell make some good ones these days), or MC phono stage. The P3-24 is upgradable in any number of ways, small things like sub-platter or motor isolation can make significant improvements. A new arm would probably be nice, but not urgent at this point.

I've owned Paradigm Studio 20s and frankly they sounded horrible. All kinds of nasal / boxy nastiness, especially for the price they get for them. These need to go. Take a look at that link for the Viennas, posted above, that could be just the ticket. If not, something more efficient - >90db would be good.

The Brio is fine for the forseable future, if you consider the above changes. It's probably be one of the last things I'd change in your current context. Any of the ones you mentioned would probably be a significant step down sound-wise.

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