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LightsOut's picture
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: Feb 15 2020 - 12:30pm
Recommendation for sound system set up

Hello High Fidelity lovers!
I’m new to this forum and I ‘m looking to set up a new stereo system (turntable, amplifier and speakers). After a first research I ‘ve already end up to some models but I need to get recommendations. So, first things first. To begin with, kindly excuse my rusty English. I ‘m Greek, I’ m not a native speaker. Also, before I start asking questions, I want to provide you some useful information.

General info:
- My budget is 2000eur in total.
- My living room is 40sqm and the front part is connected with another 15sqm small hall (so typically is 55sqm )
- My listening position will be 3m from each speaker and the distance between the two speakers will be 3m as well (equilateral triangle)
- My musical preferences are: 70% rock (progressive/hard) approx. from 1965 to 1989, 15% metal (heavy/power/thrash) approx. from 1980 to 2000 and 10% gypsy jazz and 5% folk music
- I don’t care about used items

After a deep search on the internet and long discussions with friends which have some knowledge in HiFi field I ‘ve end up to some conclusions.

Turntable (Dual cs 505-4 with Ortofon OM10 MM cartridge, approx. 720eur in my country)
During the past weeks, my first research drove me to 4 turntables:

1. Cheap – entry level solution
Numark NTX-1000 (approx. 328eur in my country)
2. Denon DP-400 (approx. 479eur in my country)
(according to this approach, I could buy an entry level turntable and save the rest of my money for buying an average pre-amp)
2. More expensive – intermediate solution
Thorens TD 402 DD (approx. 885eur in my country)
Rega Planar 3 (approx. 879eur in my country)

A friend of mine and also good sound engineer, told me that the majority of the modern turntables (even the famous Rega Planar 3) are suffering from acoustic feedback due to its poor materials and design. He suggested me two turntables which in his opinion are very good and solid: the Dual cs 505-4 with Ortofon OM10 MM cartridge (which is a belt drive) and the top quality Technics SL1200GR (which is a direct drive but way too expensive for me).

I like the design of the Dual cs 505-4 and I read some good reviews for it so probably I ‘ll go with that. The only problem that I see with this turntable is that I read that is discontinued. In my country there is still available in the stores and also Dual claims that they will support this model for another 20 years! To be honest I’ m worrying a little bit, mainly for the spare parts but at the same time I trust Dual because it’s a well known and trustworthy company...

Speakers (Dali Zensor 7, approx. 600eur in my country)
I really know that a pair of quality speakers is a serious investment and an important part of a HiFi at the same time. And, to be honest, I really want clear and neutral sound. Not necessary loud with heavy bass , but clear with layers and depth. I want to hear the organs almost separately and not as a blurry, one layer noisy thing. Taking into account the dimensions of my living room, my total budget and my musical preferences I ‘ve end up choosing the Dali Zensor 7. In this price range I think the are 100% VFM . Very powerful, with magnificent specs for the price. The problem here is that I read that those speakers are discontinued recently. But once again in my country there are still available in the stores.

Amplifier (Yamaha A-S701, approx. 500eur in my country)
Concerning the amplifier, I’ m close to the Yamaha A-S701. I found that this amp is also VFM and has a lot of power. Νevertheless the recommended Amplifier Power on Dali’s is 40 – 150W and the A-S701 high power output is 100W RMS. As I mentioned before, I don’t care about crazy high volume levels, but I don’t want my amp struggling to drive speakers. Also I’m not completely sure about the sound of A-S701. Is it fit to my musical preferences? I read that Marantz or Cambridge Audio amps are closer to classic, 1970’s, rock mood. But the average models of those amps, are poor in Watts and the Dali’s wants a lot of power in order to work properly. It looks like a controversial solution would be the Harman Kardon HK 3770 but I also heard that is discontinued. I’m really confused here...


1. What is your opinion on Dual cs 505-4?
(I ‘m referring mainly to the owners of this turntable)
2. I know that Belt Drive turntables want some extra maintenance. Considering that Dual’s discontinued this model, you think it worths to pay 700+eur for this turntable?
3. Any other suggestion (max 850eur)?
(I want a solid construction, with decent materials for the price)

1. What is your opinion on Dali Zensor 7?
(I ‘m referring mainly to the owners of those speakers)
2. Do you think that Dali’s are appropriate for 1970’s rock music?
3. Any other suggestion (max 600-650eur)?

1. As I mentioned before the recommended Amplifier Power on Dali’s is 40 – 150W and the A-S701 high power output is 100W RMS. Do you think is this a real problem? In a scale from 0 to 10 in which number do you believe this amp will be ok to drive those speakers?
2. Do you think that Yamaha A-S701 are appropriate for 1970’s rock music? If not could you suggest another amp with more classic rock characteristics and feel? (kindly remember that Dali’s need a lot of power in order to work correctly)
3. What about Harman Kardon HK 3770? Is it worth? Is it close to Yamaha’s quality levels? And the most important: is it suitable for classic rock music?
3. Any other suggestion (max 500-600eur)?

And 2 final, additional questions:
- With this set up, is a pre-amp necessary?
- With this set up, is a subwoofer necessary?

Thank you in advance for your time!

LWMidas's picture
Last seen: 2 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Feb 29 2020 - 2:54pm
New system based on Harbeth SHL5 Plus

Thinking about building a system surrounding a pair of Harbeth HL5. Not on a tight budget, and would appreciate recommendations for compatible tube amps, turntables, CD players and cables - love listening to jazz, classical, opera and pop. Thanks so much.

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