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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:29 pm
Posts: 723
Location: toronto, ON, CA
Yes Glen i agree.

to op, your pre is likely very good. ive owned some alchemist gear and liked it a lot. if it has a phono pre, and its as good as the rest of it, youre fine there, certainly for now.

yes your turntable is in fact your first priority. if you can do the table and an amp together, so much the better. but if funds are limited id spend the bulk on a good table/arm/cartridge/setup.

one good enough for your speakers will likely cost between a grand and two grand used,they are good enough for better still, though you can get away with less if you need to- a good budget table, with good cart and well setup should cost 700-1000 and is an immediate need.

(a systemdek iix or ariston rd11, or rega 25, vpi hw19, with modded rega 300 and a good car- benz glider, shelter 501, goldring elite or eroica, etc, would do fine for now if a better table isnt affordable. but that is your first step and as low as you should go)

if there is 4 to 500 left for an amp after, great, much can be had. ive mentioned many choices, im not sure if you know or are familiar with them.

if you have 1500 to spend now, when will your next installment be? if its in a few months, spend the whole current budget on the table.

if its not for a few years, spend a grand on the table, and 4 or 500 on the amp. for that a bryston 2b, sim 4070, sugden, exposure, linn, threshold if youre lucky, certainly forte, classe, bedini, options are available, among others, and all are very very decent to excellent.

the dac may be your quickest route to a cheap and good front end. many decent options for not too much. if you have none already, and funds are tight and stretched between your other upgrades, decide if records or digital is your priority and spend accordingly. for digital, you can get great value in some old dacs.

i have an aragon d2a mark2 with ips, was 2000 back in the 90s, it has made my jaw drop on more than one occasion in the right systems, and it can be had for 200. a roksan caspian remains my favourite digital source to date. long departed. i have a moon 100d that is very capable for the price, and can be had for 300. many options, others will know better here for sure. (rega dacs,, 500. chord cute hd, 1000 and superb.)

you might spend 700 on an ariston or systemdek with good cart, 3 or 400 on a decent dac, and 4 to 500 on a decent amp, and you will really be in business for records and digital, with much room to grow as funds come in. (for dac, budget for a good 1.5 meter cable, good as you can get. atlas opus was around for 170 or so, ive not heard better. wireworld starlight also very good. lesser stuff has made my digital gear, modest though it is, sound worthless, terrible. you cant skimp here.)

keep us posted!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:12 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:04 pm
Posts: 137
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Thanks to all, much to think about.

My plan to end up with a decent stereo is a one year plan.

In the next few months I will spend about $1000, maybe up to 1500 strictly on an amp.

The turntable and DAC will come later.

If I run across the matching Alchemist amp I may scoop it up. (though I have never seen actual scientific data proving that there are audible advantages to using brand X's amp with brand X's pre amp, other than looking good together).
On numerous occasions over the years I have spent a day with some audio pal friends listening to (on one specific occasion) a Bryston, a Hafler, and an Adcom amp (all same power output) driven by a Bryston, a Hafler and and Adcom preamp,,,,all different variations and combinations. All combinations sounded a little different but never did there appear to be an advantage when an amp and pre were made by the same company.

PLEASE NOTE: We had one person and one person only doing the switching and none of us listening ever knew what combo we were listening to until afterwards of course. We also tried to be sure to achieve the same listening levels on each listening test. PLEASE ALSO NOTE,,,,I know this was in no way a scientifically controlled test but we did our best.

It was nothing like the A/B/X comparator tests/domonstrations I attended at The U Of Waterloo headed by Stanley Lipshitz.

Yes Phowell1 I will most assuredly keep you posted,,,,thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:58 am
Posts: 199
Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
You could probably find something like a Bryston 3B ST for under a grand and use it to start, then add a second as funds permit. They are very solid amps, I used a pair of them to drive my Totem Model 1 Sigs for a while and the combination worked well. I did eventually change them out to a pair of 4B SSTs which definitely have more control and do sound better, but the cost went up significantly.

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Audio: JMLab Mezzo Utopias, Oracle Delphi Mk 1/6, SME V, Koetsu Urushi Vermillion, AR Ref 3, AR Ref Phono2 SE, AR Ref75SE, AR CD3, MD FT101
Video: Anthem AVM60, Krell 402e, Totem Mani2 M1 ctr Mite s/b, Storm sub Rega P6/RB2K, Steelhead


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:29 pm
Posts: 723
Location: toronto, ON, CA
ok good luck.

Be prepared to spend as much on your tt and dac in your next installment, and youll be happy. you can cheat a bit with amp dollars due to what is out there, and the less sensitive nature of amplification, ss in particular, but turntables cost money to get right and set up, less shortcuts available. so apportion your money accordingly.

good luck.

re components from single manufacturer, case by case and nothing absolute. a careful manufacturer might want to know their stuff can play together gererally speaking. They often are voiced together for a house sound.

Other considrations may be impedence and gain matches. in one case many are aware of an amplifiers design required a specific output impedence from the premplifier, and if this wasnt met there would be dc offset at the speakers, enough to damage them without a fairly close match. It was a good sounding amp, those were the choices made at the time.

Mostly this isnt the case, (though there can be a cost for the expected safety, caps in the path etc.) get what you like, sell it if it doent work for you. maybe read up a bit and be sure the topology has no specific requirements you cant meet. not a big deal. Its just a stereo!


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