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bierfeldt
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Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
What type of hardware should I pair with B&W M-1's and a Mirage Omni S8

I am all over the place on this.  I have a cheap Onkyo receiver and ancient Sony 5 disc changer.  I just bought the pair do B&W M-1's and the sub.  I know I need new hardware and had not really thought through what I was going to do.  Now, I have the speakers and no clear plan on the hardware.  

My budget is very flexible.  I plan to stream audio from iTunes, I want a new cd player, a turntable and a power source. This is a 100% audio system.  I just don't know where I should set my budget.  Should it be $1000 or $10,000?  The speakers and sub were $850. Where am I going to get to the point of diminishing returns?

I had a better plan when I did my home theatre.  I set a budget, picked out my hardware and selected speakers that complimented them.  The speakers were somewhat of an impulse purchase as we were in the process of re-decorating the room and these B&W's hds the right look for the room.  

jackfish
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Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
The B&W M-1s seem to me to be a progression from the

old B&W SOLID monitors. I still have a pair of the SOLID monitors, one of which needs a new tweeter. They were really pretty good for what they were.

In my current system my loudspeakers were about half of my overall budget. However, for components for your speakers and subwoofer it wouldn't be unreasonable to spend a similar amount, or even a little bit more to complete your system. Your original line of thinking in this thread http://www.stereophile.com/content/looking-value-integrated-ampam-considering-yamaha-thoughts seems sound. A Harman Kardon HK3490 or a Cambridge Audio, NAD, Marantz or Music Hall integrated amplifier in the $500 range should be enough for those speakers.

Your requirements suggest you will need a decent DAC, CD player and turntable to go with a receiver/amp. The DAC depends on what platform you will use to serve up iTunes. The Music Hall MMF-2.2 turntable for $450 is a winning entry level unit. The Emotiva ERC-2 CD player is an overachiever.

You could try an Emotiva USP-1 preamp, a pair of USP-1 amps, and a ERC-2 CD player in your own home with your own speakers for 30 days and if you don't like them, return them for a purchase price refund.

I guess you will have to settle on a budget. It certainly doesn't have to be $10,000, but $1,000 might not be enough for a turntable, CD player, DAC and receiver/amp.

commsysman
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SYSTEM

The Music Hall MMF-2.2 is definitely a good turntable choice. I have it at one home and the MMF-7 at the other, and they both do a great job. The Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp is only $200 and is excellent. I upgraded the cartridge to a Micro Benz  for about $400, and that is a very nice upgrade. The cartridges that come with the turntables are fair, but an upgrade is a big improvement.

THe OPPO BDP-95 is one component I would very highly recommend to anyone. It is the best-sounding CD/SACD player I have ever heard at any price, and is an incredible bargain at only $1000. It sounds even better than my Ayre C5xe/MP player, which I paid $6000 for a few years ago, and which WAS the state-of-the-art player until the OPPO showed up. It makes every CD/SACD player from $800 to $8000 obsolete IMO.

A really great integrated amplifier that is available at a very reasonable price ($1500) is the Musical Fidelity M3i. That is one I would consider.

Another pretty good amplifier is the Cambridge Audio 651A, which is only $799 and has a built-in USB input, which is a feature that will appeal to some people.

Those components will run you around $3000-4000, and are very good value for the money and will give excellent sound. If you spend much less...you will get much less...lol.

 

 

 

 

 

bierfeldt wrote:

I am all over the place on this.  I have a cheap Onkyo receiver and ancient Sony 5 disc changer.  I just bought the pair do B&W M-1's and the sub.  I know I need new hardware and had not really thought through what I was going to do.  Now, I have the speakers and no clear plan on the hardware.  

My budget is very flexible.  I plan to stream audio from iTunes, I want a new cd player, a turntable and a power source. This is a 100% audio system.  I just don't know where I should set my budget.  Should it be $1000 or $10,000?  The speakers and sub were $850. Where am I going to get to the point of diminishing returns?

I had a better plan when I did my home theatre.  I set a budget, picked out my hardware and selected speakers that complimented them.  The speakers were somewhat of an impulse purchase as we were in the process of re-decorating the room and these B&W's hds the right look for the room.  

bierfeldt
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Last seen: 6 hours 46 min ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
I very much appreciate the feedback, a few more thoughts though

I guess the real question is for $500 a pair, are those M-1's worth a $1000 or $1500 integrated amp.  commsysman, I agree with your point completely that if I spend less I get less so the answer is maybe.  This is unfortunately about compromise and my ability to sell my wife on this equipment.  The most important thing to me is perfect clarity with adequate power.  After doing a ton of reading I am getting the feeling that the best value is going to be the Harman HK3490 or the Yamaha A-S 500.  It seems like the best sound will likely come from the Rega Brio R.The other alternatives will be the Yamaha A-S 700 or the NAD 356BEE.  The issue is that I can demo the NAD and the Yamaha's and bluntly, Crutchfield has a pretty liberal return policy.  The nearest Rega dealer is not nearby and that one will be tough to get to listen to. 

One other thing I think I will demo just for entertainment purposed is the Parasound Halo P3 and the matching A23 amp.  That really pushes the budget but my NAD dealer also carries Parasound. 

An item I think I have settled on is that I want the Marantz NA7004 as my DAC/Network player.  It is feature packed and I like the way the Cirrus chips sound in my current CD player. 

As far as turntables go, I am on the fence.  I currently have a Rega P3 with an Elys 2 cartridge in my primary system.  For this secondary one, I am thinking I will go a little lower end and will likely end up with an RP1 and maybe will upgrade to an Ortofon 2M Blue.  At that same price I could get an Xpression III which is much more visually appealing which will please my wife.  I just can't see spending the money for an RP3 unless I step up to the $1000 plus range for the Integrated Amp.  I have not heard the Music Hall decks but people rave about them.   

Regarding the CD player, I need to dig a little deeper but am very interested in the Denon DBP-1611 UD.  Seems like an excellent value at $399.  I love the idea of the Oppo but I just can't spend that much on a CD player for a secondary system.  I am seriously considering it for my primary system in which case I would move my Marantz CC-4003 to this system. 

That would put me at $2150 on the low end and $3225 at the high end if I do the swap with the Oppo.  That would put my total system cost in the $3-$4K range with speaker.  I think I can feel pretty good about that. 

If you have any thoughts on what I have planned here it would be very much appreciated.  Do you see anything that sounds foolish or wasteful?

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