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ToddH
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Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: Nov 24 2012 - 9:58am
Need help deciding on integrated, TT and Speakers...

Hi, So I have been listening to music streaming to my B&W Zeppelin Air for a couple of years now. Its great, but I want to get back to listening to vinyl.

I am putting the setup in my office/patio in my house where I spend most of my time. The room is a little more than 200 sq feet.

I sit about 6 feet or so from where the speakers will be.

back in 99 I had a great setup with a McIntosh c15 preamp and a McIntosh mc 202 amp, entech dac and B&W nautilus 803's. I bought a Marantz 6100 turntable with a shure m55.

I no longer have any of that stuff obviously and can not afford to spend that kind of cash nor do I have the room. Being married and having a mortgage takes its toll!

anyway,

So here is what I am looking at, using my Marantz 6100 table which is in perfect condition. I bought it from the original owner on ebay for 45 bucks in 99. I haven't used it until recently to clean it up and test it. Still works great.

Marantz 6100 Shure m55
Wharfedale Diamond 10.1
Marantz pm 8003/4 or Music Hall A15.2
Apple airport express to stream my iTunes library.

SO my questions are...

first, I do not have stands for the 10.1's and cant seem to find any cheap. I don't want to throw away 200 bucks for stands. Should I step up in price and buy the Diamond 10.5 demo's from music direct for 600? Or would the wharfedale evo 2-30's be a better buy at 600? I am buying wharfedales off reviews and have never heard them. I can not seem to find anything I would buy locally to listen to. Most of the audio stores here in north texas have closed up. So I am taking a shot with the wharfedale.

Next question. Should I spend the money on the Marantz 6004, 8004 or the music hall a15.2 I imagine the 8004 and the a15.2 are very similar. I have always liked Marantz and have never listened to anyting from music hall.

Can you guys recommend a dac to run the airport express into?

and finally. Should I just keep the Marantz 6100 turntable or should I jump up to the rega p1, project debut carbon or music hall 2.2

I am open to any help and really appreciate. Like most I want to just get all this settled so I can get on with listening to records which is what this is all about. I am an editor of Music TV show and spend basically 90% of my time listening to music in one way or another!

In a perfect world I am hoping the 6100 is ok, the dac in either of the integrated's is good enough and the 10.1's are enough.

would love if someone could recommend some stands to go with the 10.1's!

thanks again. I look forward to the responses.

ToddH
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Joined: Nov 24 2012 - 9:58am
After everything I have

After everything I have posted I decided to spend a little more.

after reading here and other places I think I am going to go the route of

Marantz 6100 turntable - shure m55 cartridge

Emotiva USP-1 Pre

Emotiva XPA - 200 AMP

Magnepan MMG speakers

Apple Airport Express for digital airplay via itunes.

I feel this will be a very satisfying setup for me.  I will find a sub later on unless the mmg really are awful with low frequency.  I dont listen to music at obscene levels or rap music so bass is not a game changer for me.

 

jackfish
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Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
You could do worse than that set up.

While the bass exhibited by the MMGs does not go very low, it is articulate. It will be easy to integrate a subwoofer later with the USP-1 bass management. I agree that you are likely to like this setup. The good thing is that the Emotiva stuff and Magnepans can go back for a refund if you don't like them. Here is my system:

13.3" MacBook Air, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD, iTunes/BitPerfect
MacBook Air SuperDrive
Western Digital My Book Essential 2TB USB HD
Schiit Bifrost USB DAC
Emotiva ERC-1, USP-1 and 2 x UPA-1
Pro-Ject Xpression III and AT440MLa
Grado SR80i
Magnepan MMG Magnestand
Rythmik Audio F12

commsysman
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SYSTEM

I think you have some good ideas there.

IMO the Music Hall A15.2 will sound better than the Emotiva gear, and it is cheaper to boot. It also has a built-in phono stage. The Emotiva gear is better than the typical HT receiver, but using it with good speakers is not a good idea; mediocre sound quality IMO.

I do recommend the Music Hall 2.2 turntable, but I don't know how it compares to your old one.

The MMG speakers are great....except...they have NO bass. I would only use them with a good subwoofer. which would cost at least $500 additional.

I would probably go with the KEF iQ90 speakers, which are available from KEF Direct for a very attractive price of $798 per pair (original price was $1500).

They are excellent floorstanding speakers and have good bass response; no sub needed.

 

 

jackfish
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Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Strongly disagree about Emotiva.

So do others:

http://www.tonepublications.com/review/the-emotiva-usp-1-preamplifier-and-upa-1-amplifiers/

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/preamplifiers/preamplifiers-reviews/emotiva-usp-1-stereo-preamplifier.html

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue58/emotiva.htm The XPA-200 is an marked improvement over the UPA-2. http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=ampreviews&action=display&thread=27237&page=1

Since we are stating opinions here, I say that the Music Hall A15.2 actually comes up short in sound quality compared to the Emotiva stuff. I've listened to both and through some pretty resolving loudspeakers to boot. I find it highly unlikely that you could find an integrated amplifier for $800 that is as powerful and sounds as good as the USP-1 and XPA-200 combo. The good thing is that you can find out yourself how good Emotiva stuff is in your own room with your other equipment and send it back if you don't like it.

The Magnepan MMG produces as much bass as most bookshelf loudspeakers. "so bass is not a game changer for me" means you are likely to be satisfied with the MMGs. If not, its nothing an Epik Legend subwoofer (currently $399) wouldn't cure.

ToddH
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Joined: Nov 24 2012 - 9:58am
Updating.

Just thought I would update.

I bought the emotiva usp1, emotiva xpa 200 and the magnepan mmg.

I am using my tributaries a1 silver interconnect.

.after hooking everything up it became apparent that my marantz 6100 table was in rougher shape than I remembered.  It is not spinning at the correct speed and everything is distorted and very harsh.

I did not want to put any money into this table so after debating with myself I decided I would buy a table I can have forever and I found a great price on a vpi traveler with an ortofon 2m blue.

.I can not wait till it gets here.  I have been listening to cd's through a cheap old Sony DVD player.  So u can imagine how it sounds.  Even with that te speakers sound nice...

The high end seemed a touch high so I put the tweeter 1. Ohm attenuator on the mmg.

Can u guys recommend a phono preamp that would be a good fit with the table or is the usp 1 phono stage ok for the time being.

I have read good things about the Cambridge 640 p, bellari 130 and creek obh 15.

judt want to make sure they are worth the money so I can get to listening to music.

jackfish
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Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
The phono preamp in the USP-1 is pretty good.

You would likely have to spend a couple hundred dollars for a significant improvement. The Bellari VP130 would do it for me and would likely tame the objectionable high end of the MMGs you experienced. Thats a nice table you are getting, enjoy and let us know what you think of your system after you have had some time to listen.

ToddH
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Joined: Nov 24 2012 - 9:58am
Thanks jack fish. Do u think

Thanks jack fish.

Do u think the Cambridge 651 p or 640 p would be an upgrade?

If I may ask, what is the best way for me to have the mmg hooked up?

Right now I have them running into the high frequency and crossed over at abou 80hz.

 

should I run them into the full range without a sub?

Thanks.

jackfish
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Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Run the MMGs on the full range outputs on the USP-1

I would think the 651P is better than the phono stage in the USP-1. Check out the Musical Fidelity V-LPS as it may be a bit better.

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