You are here

Log in or register to post comments
jonsocal
jonsocal's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 10 2008 - 9:05pm
New system recs?

Am finally taking the big step of upgrading my old early-90s era stereo system (Adcom amp/pre-amp (GFA 555 and GTP 555II); Definitive BP8s; NAD CD/DVD player). The first step is completed with the purchase today of PSB Synchrony OneB's. The rest I really could use some advice with. Since I am a part of a family unit (one could say "King", I supppose, but that is purely self-delusion), I need something with the flexibility to do a good job with movies while at the same time satisfy my need to spend some quality time picking apart some favorite CDs. For the DVD piece, am leaning towards letting a PS3 do that work, freeing up some budget $ for the purchase of a good CD/SACD player. So here is what I am considering:

Total budget $: $6000

Speakers (done): PSB Synchonry OneB ($2300 out of the budget)
CD/SACD: Marantz SA8001 or similar
Amplification: Frankly, no idea. Am considering an Arcam AVR350 or Adcom GTP-870HD. I don't intend to do all the surround yet, but seems to make sense to spend the $ on a unit that can handle this piece when I get to it later this year/early next. The concern is whether or not I can get good quality two-channel musical reproduction with a receiver. Can a decent AV receiver do good audio?

Any suggestions, etc, would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance for comments...
Jon

linden518
linden518's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 12 2007 - 5:34am
Re: New system recs?

Hey, Jon. I've no idea about A/V receivers, as I have no experience with them. But if you decide to go w/ the 2-channel, I can recommend Primare I30 especially with your budget. One of the best solid state integrated amps I've heard when I was auditioning gear. I heard it driving ProAc speakers & the sound was fantastic: had ample power and subtly musical, too. I'm sure it will have zero problem driving your PSB speakers. And let us know how you like your speakers... curious about them.

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Re: New system recs?

If you are mainly listening to two channel music then get a two channel system. Movies sound just fine from a good two channel system. Some other possibilities:

Musical Fidelity A-5 $2750
Cayin A-100T $2995
Jolida JD 1000A $2400
Krell KAV-400xi $2750
Shanling A3000 $1695

jonsocal
jonsocal's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 10 2008 - 9:05pm
Re: New system recs?

Thanks...all good suggestions! The salesman at Sound Unlimited here in SD recommended a good two channel with the purchase of a "surround bypass" sometime in the future. Not sure what that translates to yet, but worth investigating. Any thoughts on the Marantz CD/SACD player? Love the PSBs....very pure production on vocals. Can't wait to try them out with some better amplification.

linden518
linden518's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 12 2007 - 5:34am
Re: New system recs?


Quote:
Thanks...all good suggestions! The salesman at Sound Unlimited here in SD recommended a good two channel with the purchase of a "surround bypass" sometime in the future. Not sure what that translates to yet, but worth investigating. Any thoughts on the Marantz CD/SACD player? Love the PSBs....very pure production on vocals. Can't wait to try them out with some better amplification.


Ooh, Jon, I TOTALLY forgot! One of my integrated amps is Plinius 8150 and it has a surround bypass! I never thought of it b/c I never use the function. The Plinius sound is killer, a step above Primare, in my opinion, especially the 8150. (I've auditioned both Primare & Plinius; if you go to Entry Level section, you'll see the thread "How I Built My 1st System." There are impressions of both Primare & Plinius there...)

Most people will probably prefer their more recent amps - 9100 & 9200 - but I've heard both 8150 & the newer ones, and I like the sound of the older 8150 much better w/ the music I listen to. I'm not sure if 9100/9200 have surround bypass... you should look into it. I don't know why they'd get rid of a function in the newer amps. The new 9200 can be pricey if purchased new, but they pop up frequently on Audiogon just above $2K, used. I've seen 8200 pop up sometimes, too. The 8150 will pop up less.

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Re: New system recs?

Here is an extensive discussion of the Marantz SA-8001:
http://forum.stereophile.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=18066&Main=17782

If you can afford a about twice as much the Shanling SCD T 200 SACD/CD player is outstanding. There is an Internet source where you can get this $5000 player for $1870.

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 6 days ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: New system recs?


Quote:
If you can afford a about twice as much the Shanling SCD T 200 SACD/CD player is outstanding. There is an Internet source where you can get this $5000 player for $1870.


And ET can use it to phone home.

jonsocal
jonsocal's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 10 2008 - 9:05pm
Re: New system recs?

Thanks for all the help. Am now leaning towards keeping the GFA-535ii (the 555 was a typo) and tossing the GTP555 for a pre/processor. That will save a little on the remaining budget that I can throw at a good CD for audio while providing the flexibility for an upgrade to surround later for the Friday night family movie. Hopefully that will provide a good all-round system that meets my need for a quiet night of jazz while providing a decent setup for the kids tv viewing.
So...any good recs on a pre/pro? Looked at a Rotel 1069 today that seemed like it might do the trick, but of course would want to take it home for a demo. As far as CD player, am considering the Naim CD5i or Cambridge Audio Azur. Any and all suggestions welcome and appreciated!

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Re: New system recs?

Budget
Outlaw 990
Emotiva MMC-1

Midrange
NAD M15
Anthem AVM30

High end
Anthem AVM50
Anthem Statement D2
Denon AVP-A1HDCI

The Cambridge Audio Azur 840C is quite a unit for $1500. You might consider a universal player for DVD, SACD, DVD-A and HDCD.

jonsocal
jonsocal's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 10 2008 - 9:05pm
Re: New system recs?

Thanks for responses. After a visit to my one of my favorite music stores, I am currently auditioning a Creek Destiny integrated and am quite impressed with the match between it and my PSBs. To help keep the budget in balance, I am running a Music Hall CD-25, which is significantly better than the old NAD T 550.

Question: How much of a difference is there between the CD-25 ad CD-25.2? I can get the floor model CD-25 for $475. Is the $125 in savings worth it?

One other question: The Creek sounds fantastic. Before I pull the trigger on this unit, is there anything that I should be thinking about?

linden518
linden518's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 12 2007 - 5:34am
Re: New system recs?

Creek makes great amps & especially if you liked it w/ your PSBs, I'm sure you'll be happy with it at your home. If you'd like to compare, the Primare I30 is perhaps a bit warmer & more dynamic than Creek. Don't know how it would match w/ your speakers. Plinius is flat-out great. If you get new Plinius, it would cost you a bit too much, but if you go used, you can pick one up ~$2K. I hear Conrad Johnson CA200 is fantastic, but it's really pricey, too, unless you get one used. dcstep in this forum has one & he loves it matched w/ his Vienna Acoustics Baby grands. Among the new solid state models, generally around that budget, my clear favorite was the Primare, but again, the speakers were not PSBs.

jonsocal
jonsocal's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 10 2008 - 9:05pm
Re: New system recs?

Thanks to all for the helpful suggestions! I pulled the trigger on the Creek/MH CD25.2/PSB combo. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what tickles your musical fancy, and I must say that I am incredibly happy with my purchase! The only thing left to do is replace the old Monster XP cables from my former system. The folks over at Audiogon recommend cables from Auricle Audio Design or Clear Day Solid Cores...both touted as incredibly good value of the $. I suppose that there are few things in life that create as much debate as speaker cables, but I will throw it out to the group here for any thoughts. Only consideration is that I am not a multi-$1000 buyer!

Thanks again...

BTW, the new Shelby Lynn CD is a definite must have.....

tom collins
tom collins's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 week ago
Joined: Apr 3 2007 - 11:54am
Re: New system recs?

i would listen for a while with things as is with as large a variety of music as you have so you can hear the extremes of loud and soft and high and low frequency. you want to give things a chance to break in as well as to form an opinion about where you might want to see improvement. also, cables take breakin time as well. you can talk with your dealer about the change you want to hear, he may be able to make recommendations and if your he has some demo's that are already broken in, you can try before you buy. i think this could maximize your chances of being happy with the result.
good luck and happy hunting.

tom

linden518
linden518's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 12 2007 - 5:34am
Re: New system recs?

Congrats, Jon! I'm sure you'll enjoy your system for a long time to come. As for cables, you should talk to your dealer. Listen to the system for a week+ first (I'm guessing you have some kind of cabling in place now to listen, right?) and recognize what it is in your system that you value & would like to bring out (i.e. clarity, warmth, etc.), and conversely, what qualities you'd like to temper & de-emphasize. Go from there & ask your dealer for a few options, based on your priorities. I'm sure he'll give you specific recommendations - as will the forum members here - based on your specific needs. Those Auricle Audio or Clear Day cables might be great in some systems, but they might suck ass in your system, who knows, and not fulfill your requirements & priorities.

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading