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What hifi system would you choose up to 25k

Discussion in 'audio' started by paulieGB, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. paulieGB

    paulieGB pfm Member


    I'm after a new hifi system and have a budget of up to 25k,
    I've listened to b&w 803 diamonds and 802 diamonds, Kef reference 205, pmc twenty 26 and fact 8.
    I have a demo for atc 150 active tomorrow, and b&w 802 diamonds with musical fidelity on the Weekend.
    So far the b&w diamonds run with naim which was over my budget about 36k in total is the best I have heard.
    I didn't like the Kef speakers, and the pmc were good but didn't do it for me either.

    What systems do you guys have for that type of money , or what would you go for ?

  2. Hepokatti

    Hepokatti pfm Member

    I don't like the product-centered thinking in hifi circles. It almost never solves anything. Audio playback has certain problems in a given room - the real solution is to solve those problems and then figure out how much it costs. 25k is a lot of money and while it might not be enough for perfection, it can tackle many problems.

    On the other hand, if you're willing to compromise and force yourself liking certain speakers then you might as well just enjoy music and keep the money. Moving from a compromise to another one adds almost 0 increased listening pleasure, often doing the opposite due to directing attention towards gear instead of music.

    EDIT: To clarify; I only mean this in regard of speakers of course. Electronics is another thing and open to discussion.
  3. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue Southbound

    As Hepokatti alludes, I think, you might want to consider room treatment before, or in tandem with, arranging home demos.

    I've recently gone for ATC 50 actives, bought second hand prior to room treatment, and am very pleased with them.

    FWIW IMO regarding Naim, and as a former lover of the brand, I'd tend to look elsewhere for a transparent value for money presentation, but as always buy what you like the sound of in your (treated) room.

    BTW what size and shape is your room?
  4. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    For £25k I would get the cheapest, simplest front end that you can live with. £60 ought to do it for a Pi/Volumio/HiFiBerry DAC. That's source sorted. If that's to hairshirt, AEx or any streamer you like will do.

    Spend the rest on appropriate active speakers or studio monitors. Any brand are fit for purpose... Get ones that look nice as they all tend to sound much of a muchness and vary in presentation that you settle down with after a while, unless they are really odd and then probably they are not studio monitors.

    I like ATC100s and I budgeted just under £9k on am extra pair of active subwoofers, active 4 way systems has an effortlessness and ease of presentation that make any discussion about what is better irrelevant to me. Folk here come and go and have opinions about ATC and like this or that. I just think whatever. I leave them to it.

    This year will mark my 10th year of using ATC100s my second year of active ATC Subs.

    If you don't fully spend the £25k by dint of buying used or getting a dealer discount or trade in, spend a few hundred on an acoustician and the a few hundred perhaps a grand on passive room correction.

    Anything else can be sorted out in active room correction that sits inside the £60 streamer I described.

    Adding preamps and analogue stuff complicated matters so I won't go there.
  5. Cesare

    Cesare pfm Member


    Fox's point is a valid one. Basically, there is a competitive market for main active studio monitors which are designed for industry pros to get a clear insight into recordings - they aren't looking for a flattering sound, just what's there, and this is the right starting point.

    Due to the competition in this market, and frankly, the minor cost of studio monitors compared to the other expenses when kitting up a studio, all the proven monitors over the years are of good quality. The active monitors have the advantage of the effort in getting a matching amplifier sorted for you, which is a big plus.

    I'd refine Fox's suggestion a little - choose proven designs (say 5 years minimum run still in production). Make sure you are looking at main monitors not nearfield from their product range (unless of course you are listening in the nearfield!), and again, monitors designed for free space not soffit mounting.

    Also agree on the pre/source, it's not that important compared to the room/speaker interface which is the one to get right.
  6. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    Do you want hifi, or accurate audio reproduction?
  7. paulieGB

    paulieGB pfm Member


    Thanks for the replys guys.
    The system I'm after will be going in my lounge, I'm not to bothered about the looks to be honest.
    My room is 22ft by 14ft.

    What do you guys mean be treating the room, bass traps ? , can I ask if furnature, pictures , curtain's , help or are enough for treatment ?

    Everyone seams to be in favour of monitors so far, I am looking forward to trying the atc150's today, I'll be listening to the 25's too.

    I wasn't to impressed with the naim amps we were using on the b&w , not until we tried 25k worth of naim with the speakers.

    I'm not sure what sound I want, I want it to sound good, like I'm not listening to the speakers anymore just the music, I listen to a lot of rock music and a mix of everything else.

  8. MVV

    MVV pfm Member

    and that is that, what an utterly sensible thread. If I had the energy to sell my records this is exactly what I would do.

    Anyroad where are the dealers and loonies?
  9. paulieGB

    paulieGB pfm Member

    How good are the Linn active speakers ?
  10. paulieGB

    paulieGB pfm Member

    Hi fox, where abouts do you put the two subs in your room, are they behind each speaker ?
    I am thinking of going the sub and monitor route.
  11. Steven Toy

    Steven Toy L3 Toy

    You have a choice between good in-room sound or ultimate listening pleasure. The usual recommendations so far are in pursuit of the former.
  12. paulieGB

    paulieGB pfm Member

    What would you recommend Steven :)
  13. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    In that price range I would certainly want to listen to:
    Kudos Titan + NAC 252 + NAP300 + whatever source you like the sound of.
    Sugden IA4 + Focal Diablo Utopia + DCS front end.

    Also., you really should audition a good system including
    Quad ESL
    to see if these are to your taste.
  14. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    Fox, do you really think there is no difference between a £60 dac and more expensive ones? It's not my experience but clearly we live in a subjective world.

    To the OP, you need to advise what your preferred source is. My choice would be Dynavector amps with Shahinian speakers and a good vinyl front end (and/or perhaps a Rega Isis CD player), but I have young kids so have gone for the practicality of a Mac based digital system.
  15. chevvies

    chevvies pfm Member

    ATC, no question.
  16. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    Mine are placed to the left and right of the current main (work) ATC100s to maximise gain and then manually cut by controls on each SCM0.1/15 sub. This is a temporary measure as its a temporary room, but we pretty much know how my eventual room will react as it's been modelled and simulated by an acoustician. There will be some dicking about with doodads and stuffs, but an acoustician will take the pain and uncertainty out of all that for you. £25k is a lot to spend so a little put aside to ensure it works well and evenly is money well spent IMO.

    I never get why HiFi some people spend so much and then begrudge a relatively small outlay to get it working as well as possible.
  17. Steven Toy

    Steven Toy L3 Toy

    Go listen to some valve amplifiers and solid state ones from the likes of Nagra or Accuphase. Budget around 8k for pre and power amps. Get a pair of Tannoy Kensington GR for ultimate speaker heaven (9.7k).

    Listen to a few DACs or CD players/DACs starting from less than a grand up to 5k. Wyred4Sound, Antelope Audio, Accuphase are good places to start looking (and listening.)

    1500 to 2k gets you a decent stand to put it all on that will further enhance your listening pleasure. You have a choice between Hi-fi Racks, Hutter, Base, Isoblue, Stillpoints or MusicWorks ReVo.

    Cables need to be chosen carefully but need not be expensive. Mark Grant Cables do the job and not for silly money.

    300 quid gets you a diffuser panel which is all you might need unless your room is really shit.
  18. Rodrat

    Rodrat pfm Member

    Buy secondhand and you will almost double your budget.
  19. paskinn

    paskinn pfm Member

    The room is surely the right place to start....but stuff like active monitors? What is it you want, 'hi fi' or musical enjoyment? I doubt they are the same thing at all.
    I suspect 'hi fi' lost the plot years ago....because it seemed to sound less and less like actual music. So, for £25,000 I'd suggest comfortable carpets and soft furnishing, then whatever speakers create a decent illusion for you. Most are pretty average really....regardless of how much you spend. Electronics? Something from a good 'sensible' brand such as Cambridge.
    It's the room and speakers that really matter most. And what would my personal choice be? Good turntable, decent valve amp, whatever panel or horn speakers took my fancy. For safety, probably a nicely serviced pair of Quad 63s. Never, ever, something called a 'monitor'.
    But then if stuff like Naim and ATC float your boat.....you are already firmly in the 'hi fi' camp, with all that entails. A lot of people love it.
  20. dweezil

    dweezil pfm Member

    Room sounds about right for a pair of PMC IB2s activated, should leave you with over £5k for a pre and whatever source you like.

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