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garjam's picture
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: Jul 22 2022 - 1:23pm
Spicing up my first setup

Hey there,

I've been wanting to get a HiFi setup for a while. I grew up listening to my dad's AIWA HiFi setup from the early 90s and I absolutely miss that sound. Last month I decided to configure myself a decent setup based on reviews from youtube but I have no experience myself.

I would say that my setup lacks a bit of oomph.

Probably I didn't match things right, or I'm missing some components, so I decided to join this forum and ask you guys.

This is my setup so far:

  • Turntable: Rega Planar 3
  • Cartridge: Rega Exact
  • CD Transport: Audiolab 6000CDT
  • Amplifier: NAD C338
  • Monitors: Monitor Audio Bronze 100

My philosophy when building this setup was the "best bang for the buck". I'm open to incorporating any other brands or component as long as it makes sense to spend the money and it's coherent with the budget of my setup.

My sense of "I don't know shit but I feel that I know what I'm talking about" tells me that I might be missing the following:

  • Subwoofer: Because I feel that my sound lacks a bit on the low-end. I want the room to sing along with the music (without being exaggerated), in other words, I just want it to sound rounder.
  • Phono pre-amp: Because it's a thing and I don't have one, also, because I feel that it might make my turntable sound a bit warmer and more expressive.

Feel free to criticise, suggest, comment, expand, ask, answer and correct.

Also, what do you think about my setup. I'd like to know if I f***ed-up by picking some of the existing components, I would like to know, even if I'm not gonna necessarily change them right now.

For instance, initially I was going to get the B&W 606 S2 Anniversary Edition, but in the end I went for the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 because of the reviews.

Enough said, let the debate begin!!

Old Audiophile
Old Audiophile's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Jun 15 2017 - 7:34pm

For what it's worth and for noticeably more oomph, I agree that adding a sub is one relatively inexpensive way to go. Auditioning some good phono preamps is another relatively inexpensive option, as well. Upgrading the speakers and/or auditioning some quality Class A/B integrated amplifiers in the 100-WATT (RMS) range with good built-in phono sections is another. All depends on the budget. I've done several hours of serious seat-time with your TT equipped with an Ortofon Blue. That is a sweet little TT! I've never done any seat-time with any of your other specific model components. So, can't comment there. However, my ears have never particularly cared for the NAD amplifiers I've heard to date or, for that matter, Class D circuitry, in general, However, that's just MY ears. The only thing that really matters is what YOU and YOUR EARS like. If you have access to a reputable high-end audio shop or shops, tell them what you're looking for, seek suggestions and schedule some auditions with equipment that is the same or as similar to yours as possible, in a sound room that is, also, as similar to yours as possible. Some shops will even let you bring in your own components. Of course, you should always bring or play music that you like and are very familiar with for auditions. Trust YOUR EARS!

hoytis's picture
Last seen: 3 days 7 hours ago
Joined: May 19 2021 - 10:37am

I agree with Old Audiophile. First trust your ears...not entirely what you read here. But if you think you're listening experience is lacking some warmth, I would put that on a Class D amplifier and the Exact cart. I had a similar set up (same cart with class D) and it was almost too clean and crisp for my ears. Some people dig that. I've moved through many components since then and pure class A or quality A/B integrated made a world of difference...that and speakers with bigger woofers and cabs. That said, you could try and warm it up with an external tube phono stage.

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