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£3,500 budget...what would you change?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Moppit, May 16, 2019.

  1. Moppit

    Moppit pfm Member

    So I want maximum bang for my budget, digital only please. Your thoughts and suggestions most welcome as I have some time to demo..

    Current digital side...

    Allo Digione (Volumio)..music on a NAS, Radio Paradise, Spotify, may go to Qobuz
    Chord 2Qute
    Tisbury pre
    Quad QMP
    Kef Reference 2 circa mid 90's vintage (love the scale but lack detail )

    Also still got a Nait XS which may go into a second system or sold.

    Room size is 4 x 5 M, I tend to listen at low to mid volumes. Volume remote is essential for the new set up.

    For me two obvious steps are try a hugo2 direct into the Quad, replace the Kefs with say R5's, or Proac DT8? Other thoughts?

    Alternatively, used stuff is very much of interest but demos are always the problem. I could keep the 2qute and look at alternative pre's. The XS works as a pre into the Quad but it seems an untidy long term solution and I want sonic improvement over the Nait pre.
  2. Yomanze

    Yomanze pfm Member

    Put it all, well most of it, into the speakers. You have a well sorted digital front end, amp etc. In a room that size good standmounts will easily energise the room and offer much better bang for buck.
    Moppit and Darren like this.
  3. Yomanze

    Yomanze pfm Member

    I’d be looking at speakers like Harbeth SHL5+, or maybe the Argon 3LS if you do like floorstanders.
    maccar and Moppit like this.
  4. manicatel

    manicatel pfm Member

    Definitely upgrade from Spotify to Qobuz or Tidal.
    If you like the KEF house sound, then do check out the R3's or R5's.
    blossomchris and Darren like this.
  5. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Probably incorporate active speakers, Meridian or ATC?
    mandryka likes this.
  6. James Evans

    James Evans Bedroom Bodger

    I was going to say get yourself down to the Cranage show in a few weeks to hear some kit, but it's a bit of a hike for you. Maybe an excuse for a weekend trip up north though.
  7. i.j.russell

    i.j.russell pfm Member

    Upgrading your speakers will easily give you the best bang for your buck. I would suggest:

    1. Get a linear power supply for the Allo DigiOne. You can get one for £50 or so from ebay.
    2. Get a new pre with remote volume such as Icon Audio Passive R or Chevron Audio Paradox for £500-£600. You might be able to find someone on here who would build you a single input pre with remote for less?
    3. Spend the rest on speakers. Make sure you try the speakers in your room before buying.
    Moppit likes this.
  8. Timo_F

    Timo_F pfm Member

    Yeah, I would also start looking into the upgrading of your speakers -- since you metion that your KEF lack detail. I have PMC's Twenty5.23. One of the reasons I went for these is that PMC delivers detail; and, considering their size, the 23 offer remarkable scale, I think. Love them! :) And you can have them within budget.
  9. Timo_F

    Timo_F pfm Member

    P.S. Unless you use Spotify for background music only, you should really ditch it for Tidal or Qobuz. The difference is massive -- veils lifted etc... Your 2Qute deserves loss-less... ;-) Personally I prefer Qobuz over Tidal -- better interface in my view and better classical collection. I started with Tidal and had it for quite a while, but after a Qobuz trial I couldn't return to Tidal -- even though my Naim streamer supported Tidal but not Qobuz...
  10. Timo_F

    Timo_F pfm Member

    Good point -- the Dutch guy on YouTube, Hans B-something, reports a remarkable uplift when using the Allo with linear power supply. He swears on SBooster -- quite a bit more expensive than the Chinese LPS on ebay, but apparently worth it... And a lower risk that you burn down your house... ;)
  11. i.j.russell

    i.j.russell pfm Member

    I bought a power supply from MCRU for about 2/3 of the price of the SBooster. I know quite a few people who have bought the ebay units and they seem perfectly happy with them. Either way, they do give a good boost to the quality of the output from the DigiOne.
  12. Timo_F

    Timo_F pfm Member

    Did you have a chance to compare your MCRU LPS with one of those cheaper ebay ones your friends bought? I would be curious to learn about your insigths. From what I read, MCRU LPSs are very well regarded too.
  13. i.j.russell

    i.j.russell pfm Member

    No - I have a life. :)
    John_73, brumjam and crimsondonkey like this.
  14. Timo_F

    Timo_F pfm Member

    If you have a life, what are you doing here? ;)
    MattSPL, DavidS, joe9407 and 6 others like this.
  15. JemHayward

    JemHayward pfm Member

    I doubt you'd improve your source, you have a decent DAC, and the Tisbury is probably quite transparent, but you could consider a DAC with volume control to simplify things. I use a Lakewest MDAC and so far it's seen off anything else I could plausibly afford. I certainly wouldn't go back to using a preamp. For £3,500 you could get some really nice speakers. I use Martin Logan Summits and can't imagine ever changing them, so I'd blow your budget on these:
    Moppit likes this.
  16. i.j.russell

    i.j.russell pfm Member

    Living the dream. :p
    Dozey likes this.
  17. crimsondonkey

    crimsondonkey pfm Member

    Put your cash into speakers, but for the love of God do not listen to any one's "I have these so you must too" recommendations :rolleyes:

    Go and do some leisurely listening and take your time in making a choice based on a decent varied sample of stuff, preferably in your own room with your kit.
    Moppit likes this.
  18. Moppit

    Moppit pfm Member

    Some brilliant suggestions here folks!

    Speakers seem like the answer here...

    Heard some PMC's (older 23's i think)a couple of years ago with a Naim uniti and found them a tad fatuguing and harsh in the upper vocals,maybe just were revealing the shortcomings of the Naim one box...definitely need to listen more.

    Heard some ATC, which sounded great at high volumes but a little flat at lower levels.

    I did consider a Khozmo pre with remote then the rest on speakers...

    I'm in Hampshire..where can I dem Harbeth, Argon etc? Off to Winchester hifi tomorrow afternoon to listen to their range. Might pop into Audio T too to see what options they have.

    As for the Allo, yes I've got one of the £50 ifi low noise smps supplies, would the MRCU be significantly better? As for source material, yes I know Spotify is limited (we have a family account) but I've got a big collection on the NAS. Also, listen to RP a lot in FLAC, if I find a track I like, listen to the album on Spotify then add the cd to my collection via eBay or marketplace. Quobuz beckons though..

    Keep the suggestions coming..
  19. crimsondonkey

    crimsondonkey pfm Member

    Go to a lot of bake offs. You'll get a much better appreciation than with a dealer tapping his feet and dicking with the volume when you're not looking.
    p147 likes this.
  20. SteveG

    SteveG pfm Member

    I like the fact that the dealer I've been using recently leaves the room and lets you get on with the demo yourself. What I like less though is that they use some kind of streaming solution as a source - not sure what it is but it's really not very good.

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