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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:35 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Decided it's time to treat myself to a new amp and speakers, but I'm having a lot of trouble making a decision. Current setup is a NAD315bee with Kinima G1 bookshelfs, and a Schiit Modi DAC. They're on each side of my TV and used mostly for that, but I'd like something equally capable for music. Preference is for an stereo integrated amp (built in DAC is a bonus), and floorstanders.
My shortlist, in no particular order is:

Speakers:
PSB X2T
KEF Q950 (often discounted)
B&W 683 S2
MA Silver 200 (supposed to be better in tight spaces than the 6)
MA Silver 6 (can get a good discounts)

Integrated Amps:
NAD C368/C388
Rega Brio / Elex-R
Arcam A29
Hegel H90
Cambridge CXA80

The room is 20'x15' (10' ceilings) with the TV in the center of the long wall. Walls are wood paneled and floors are hardwood. There are doors about 4' from the TV stand on each side of that wall so speakers need to be placed pretty much right beside the TV. There is only 22" between the wall and the front of the TV stand and I don't really want them to protrude past it much, so that's a pretty major limiting factor (I think it puts the 18" deep PSBs out of the running).

At the moment I'm leaning towards Monitor Audio 200s with and of the above listed amps. The Hegel looks amazing but I heard it can be a bad fit with MA. Rega may be the most musical pairing. The features of the NAD are very attractive. Help!

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Bluesound Node 2 > Moon i5.3 > PMC Twenty 23
Schiit Bifrost Multibit > Gustard H10 > HE560/HD650


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:54 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
Check it out?

http://www.exposurehifi.com/products/it ... ifier.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:14 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
johnww wrote:


Thanks for this. The reviews are really impressive. Also saw some comments that it pairs very nicely with MA. How do you think it would compare to the Elix-R?

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Bluesound Node 2 > Moon i5.3 > PMC Twenty 23
Schiit Bifrost Multibit > Gustard H10 > HE560/HD650


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:21 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
I have not heard the rega elex r; not for lack of interest. I think it would be an interesting comparison.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:45 am
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Location: Burlington, ON, CA
If you are buying new then it's time to check out some dealers and have a listen for yourself! There's a lot more out there than what's made your short list.
If you are buying used a Naim Superuniti (an all in one) might be a nice choice for you. Exposure sounds great as well - maybe a used 3010 if you can find one. I would spend more of your money on the amp than the speakers - there's some really good used amps in the $3-4k range - just do your homework when vetting sellers - good feedback, experienced, non smokers etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:41 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
hollinger wrote:
If you are buying new then it's time to check out some dealers and have a listen for yourself! There's a lot more out there than what's made your short list.
If you are buying used a Naim Superuniti (an all in one) might be a nice choice for you. Exposure sounds great as well - maybe a used 3010 if you can find one. I would spend more of your money on the amp than the speakers - there's some really good used amps in the $3-4k range - just do your homework when vetting sellers - good feedback, experienced, non smokers etc.

Yes, some auditioning is in order for sure! I tend to agree with you and johnww that I'm probably better off with a higher quality, no-frills amp that I can build on, than something with bells and whistles like the NAD.

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Schiit Bifrost Multibit > Gustard H10 > HE560/HD650


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:11 am 
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Location: North Vancouver, BC, CA
[quote="hollinger" I would spend more of your money on the amp than the speakers - there's some really good used amps in the $3-4k range.[/quote]
This is nonsense. You should never spend more on your amp than your speakers. The speakers are BY FAR where the greatest improvement to sound can be made. If I had $4000 I would split 1-1.5k on the amp and 2.5-3k on the speakers. Hell you can get an amp for well below $1000 that would be serviceable and get some speakers that are great.

A rogue audio Sphinx coupled with a pair of magnepan 1,7i would come in well under $4000 (second hand) and would be an awesome system.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:08 am 
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Location: West GTA, ON, CA
Without knowing the size of the room and where your speakers are to be placed, it is a tough to advice.
You are also listing gear from different price ranges.
Here are a couple of examples:
If the room is narrow then "thinner" speakers might work better, then "wide" or large speakers.
More efficient speakers will need a less powerful amp. But any of the amps you list are pretty good, it is a question of finding what works with your preferred speakers.
If you are buying new, then find a dealer that you can establish a relationship with. Listen to several different combinations, but in the end, let your ears decide what you like.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:05 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Vinyl Guy wrote:
Without knowing the size of the room and where your speakers are to be placed, it is a tough to advice.
You are also listing gear from different price ranges.
Here are a couple of examples:
If the room is narrow then "thinner" speakers might work better, then "wide" or large speakers.
More efficient speakers will need a less powerful amp. But any of the amps you list are pretty good, it is a question of finding what works with your preferred speakers.
If you are buying new, then find a dealer that you can establish a relationship with. Listen to several different combinations, but in the end, let your ears decide what you like.

I did try to give a quick description of the room, but perhaps I didn't explain very well. The mix of price ranges is either to pair something lower priced with something higher, or if I'm lucky, to save a few bucks. I have to admit, johnww got me pretty intrigued about the Exposure 2010S2D. I'm considering pairing with some used PMC Twenty.23s. Without actually hearing them, it seems like it could be a pretty killer combo.

malthuse wrote:
hollinger wrote:
I would spend more of your money on the amp than the speakers - there's some really good used amps in the $3-4k range.
This is nonsense. You should never spend more on your amp than your speakers. The speakers are BY FAR where the greatest improvement to sound can be made. If I had $4000 I would split 1-1.5k on the amp and 2.5-3k on the speakers. Hell you can get an amp for well below $1000 that would be serviceable and get some speakers that are great.

A rogue audio Sphinx coupled with a pair of magnepan 1,7i would come in well under $4000 (second hand) and would be an awesome system.


I did a double take on that one too. I've always assumed the rule: spend at least half your system budget on the speakers.

Magnepans have always interested me, partly because I love my planar headphones, but my concern would be giving them enough space. The room is pretty limited in that department.

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Schiit Bifrost Multibit > Gustard H10 > HE560/HD650


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:52 am 
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Location: Vernon, BC, CA
Madman242 wrote:
I have to admit, johnww got me pretty intrigued about the Exposure 2010S2D. I'm considering pairing with some used PMC Twenty.23s. Without actually hearing them, it seems like it could be a pretty killer combo.

Exposure amps IMO are the gold standard in your price range used and well worth exploring. Do yourself a favor and try to hear PMC's of any type before buying blind. I really like PMC's (especially the large driver models) but I've seen some people get turned off by the clean sound.

malthuse wrote:
hollinger wrote:
I would spend more of your money on the amp than the speakers - there's some really good used amps in the $3-4k range.
This is nonsense. You should never spend more on your amp than your speakers. The speakers are BY FAR where the greatest improvement to sound can be made. If I had $4000 I would split 1-1.5k on the amp and 2.5-3k on the speakers. Hell you can get an amp for well below $1000 that would be serviceable and get some speakers that are great.

A rogue audio Sphinx coupled with a pair of magnepan 1,7i would come in well under $4000 (second hand) and would be an awesome system.

+1

With $4k to spend I'd be putting at the very least $2k of it in to the speakers. I find with systems at this budget level the speakers play the biggest role after the obvious things like room and listening tastes.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:23 am 
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Location: ., AB, CA
As far as the amp goes I would be buying this one:
http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... ith-phono/
No affiliation with seller. I own one and have it paired up with Triangle Titus 202 speakers - which I like immensely.
The down side of this amp is if you like listening really loud or your room is large and speakers inefficient, then this isn't the amp for you. If not you will be hard pressed to get something more musical for 2k.
I have used the Integre with both Totem Model 1's and Hawks and it is a bit underpowered at times when you want to crank it up a bit - but sounded very nice nonetheless.
jp


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:38 pm 
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Location: North Vancouver, BC, CA
I would also add that there really is no end to this. There is no ultimate goal here. For $4000 you could get a great system but what about 6 months after that? If you’re like other sound obsessed people you’ll want change. I suggest just jumping in, trying a bucket load of different stuff and seeing what works. Eventually you’ll find you’re starting to narrow as you learn more. As an example the 4 pairs of speakers that I consider to be long term “keepers” cost well south of $3000. But I had to own pricier speakers than that to learn that lesson.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:19 am 
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Posts: 1793
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
James_W wrote:
Madman242 wrote:
I have to admit, johnww got me pretty intrigued about the Exposure 2010S2D. I'm considering pairing with some used PMC Twenty.23s. Without actually hearing them, it seems like it could be a pretty killer combo.

Exposure amps IMO are the gold standard in your price range used and well worth exploring. Do yourself a favor and try to hear PMC's of any type before buying blind. I really like PMC's (especially the large driver models) but I've seen some people get turned off by the clean sound.

Having been burned a few times over the years ( self inflicted),it can’t be said often enough…….only you, listening to an amp./speaker combination with your source in your room with your music and at your listening level can you have any certainty of coming close to meeting your listening objectives.
With that in mind,at the 4k price point (used) and from my own amp./speaker mix & match experiences and for my musical preferences,these amp./speaker combos,more often than not,over the last 20+ years have put me into the magic zone………..
Exposure Classic XX series,2010S,2010S2,2010S2D,3010S2 amplifiers with ProAc and Spendor speakers.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:39 am 
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Location: Peachland, BC, CA
Very Much impressed with my Creek Destiny. I preferred it over my Moon 660 i at times.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:15 am 
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Location: Newmarket, ON, CA
I personally would split the amount on speakers with the other half on the amp/dac combo.


Maybe a little more than half on the speakers but not much more.

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