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What hifi system would you choose up to 25k

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

  1. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    I use a £3800 Apogee Symphony I\O DAC that does surround duties as well as have multiple inputs. I use a £3500 SSL mixing desk that has a stereo DAC and dial inputs. I use a Raspberry Pi and DAC that costs £25 and there are differences so small that they make me think I am probably hearing things. I have tried AntiModes and some old Linn DACs. Level matched and passed through a Monitor Controller I listen, I use my tired, probably messed up, I ears and with 16/44.1 its to me a level even playing field where the quality of the master and then the room and then the speakers is the deciding factor. DAC differentiation skim around the bottom of what is important when you get all else right.

    I don't mind it if people hear massive differences between DACs, or if they use deliberate decoding filters that impose certain sounds, or if people want to spend more' or less or choose a different brand, it doesn't rock my worldview. But these days there are bigger fish to fry then worrying about whether the £25 DAC-in-a-chip snap on Pi arrangement is orders of magnitude worse than the £15,000 linn one.

    In order

    Room\Speaker response
    Master quality
    hearing ability
    seating position
    Emotional state
    Room Temperature
    Choice of Hardware
  2. maxflinn

    maxflinn pfm Member

    Active speakers.

    ATC, AVI ADM40's ( if you can find a used pair), B&O, etc.
  3. r_w

    r_w pfm Member

    For utter 3D music magic:

    * Good transport or streamer
    * Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 Pre Amp
    * ATC 50 ASL
    * 2 x Revel B15a or SVS 13 subs (room corrected with high pass out to ATCs)

    You are unlikely to hear significantly better elsewhere.
  4. pocketkitchen

    pocketkitchen Registered User

    Shahinian Hawks, Devialet amp and a turntable of some description: RP10, WT or good sh Linn.
  5. Avonessence

    Avonessence Consistency Rapporteur

    £25K on a HiFi system, you could get a really good system on the used market for that money.

    If you go through the dealers, a good 50% of the £25,000 is going into the dealers till and not in the equipment. So you are really ending up with a £12,500 system. ;)
  6. Avonessence

    Avonessence Consistency Rapporteur

    Cheap CD Player (no more than £500.00 at the front.

    S/H Primaluna Prologue 2 with Mullard/Svetlana tubes and Copper V-Caps

    Zu Druid V with Dueland Caps

    Zu interconnect and speaker cables

    Isoblue equipment stand

    No foo mains blocks or power leads, just plain old IEC leads.
  7. Hepokatti

    Hepokatti pfm Member

    I don't see how these two necessarily have to contradict each other.
  8. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    Thanks Fox.

    I noticed a lot of difference between budget dac's (Beresford, Dacmagic, Edirol) and the Weisses I subsequently upgraded to - to the extent that I no longer favoured vinyl over digital as I had done ever since I bought my first turntable at 15. But clearly that's part of the equation and I understand the critical importance of speakers and room acoustics.
  9. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    Margins are usually nearer to 35% and it depends on how quickly they settle the invoice.
  10. Markus S

    Markus S 41 - 29

    What's your listening style? If you like to sit in a favourite chair and immerse yourself in music, I know of nothing better than the Grimm LS1, easily within budget even with subs. Add a source to taste.

    If you want to fill the house with music, you need something with a very even power response and, preferably, large drivers. If you like what you hear from the ATC 150 in your audition, they might well fit the bill (contrary to what some people say, and speaking as a happy ATC owner, they are not without their own house sound; alternatives exist). Do be aware that ATC plan to switch their speakers to their new in-house tweeter at some point, so if buying now, I'd stipulate that you can change to the new tweeter free of charge as and when it comes out.
  11. pocketkitchen

    pocketkitchen Registered User

    I take your point but even if you take the VAT out of that you're left with 40%. No dealers work on those gross margins that I know of, save for brands that have to be discounted to be sold and then it's less anyway.
  12. Michael P

    Michael P pfm Member

    Did you only demo the B&W speakers with Naim electronics? The Diamond range need a lot of power, so you would need to be pretty high up the infamous Naim ladder to get them working optimally. If after the ATC demo you still prefer the Diamonds, then I'd suggest demo'ing them with Classe Audio (owned by the same company), Krell or Bryston - I think you should easily be able to get under budget that way, especially if you find somewhere that has them ex-demo.
  13. manicatel

    manicatel pfm Member

    If I had that much £££ & a room big enough, I'd have Vitus Audio amps & Focal speakers, with a nicely treated room. I've yet to hear anything better to my taste.
    And taste is very important. Someone may be extremely happy with an all Naim set up for that ££, whereas others would rather pull their own teeth out. You owe it to yourself to demo some contrasting styles of presentation to see which you prefer. It could be that you like a valve amp, which may change the choice of speakers, for instance.
    Enjoy the hunt, & don't rush it.
  14. lindsayt

    lindsayt pfm Member

    There is no optimum answer to what's the best system for £25k?

    The thing with hi-fi is that once you reach a total system budget of £1k to £5k, you get to the stage where if you change one thing in your system to improve one aspect you inevitably get compromises in other aspects.

    Let's say you start with a decent set of 3 way active ported speakers. You should be getting a decent all-round sound in a nice convenient medium sized package.

    You hear a pair of electrostatic speakers and are beguiled by their midrange magic. By the impression that you are no longer listening to music produced by cones and domes in boxes, but by a magic invisible music recreation device. Trouble is, due to their dipole nature and the size and shape of your room the bass impact isn't as good as you'd like.

    So you change to a pair of large sealed box speakers for genuinely good bass. The impact, tightness and decent extension. But then the midrange isn't as magical as the electrostatics.

    So you try a pair of horns. Trouble is getting the bass efficiency up towards that of the midrange isn't easy whilst keeping the speakers small enough for a living room. So you get the amazing wide open dynamics from the high efficiency horns combined with really good midrange clarity, but the bass isn't quite as good as you'd like.

    And then you turn your attention to your attention to power amps. Do you go for the midrange naturalness and transparency of first class SET's or do you go for the better bass grip of first class solid state at the expense of a slightly synthetic sounding midrange?

    Anyone suggesting that there is one true way to getting the best sound for your £25k is most likely guilty of "Buy what I've bought syndrome." What they've bought might be right for you, or it may not. We all have different tastes.

    My advice is: keep an open mind. Listen to a wide variety of systems. Buy whatever you like best.

    For your budget you should expect to get something that sounds about as good as any system ever made. You'll be able to include a world class analogue source if you want too.
  15. zippy

    zippy pfm Member

    "I've listened to b&w 803 diamonds and 802 diamonds, Kef reference 205, pmc twenty 26 and fact 8."

    Paul I currently have KEF reference speakers (old model) and am thinking of looking at the PMC 20/26 as replacement - what were your impressions of the two compared ?
  16. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    The Munich HiEnd shows coming up , beginning of May, I would spend a day or two there,
    listen to every type of loudspeaker manufactured, horns,electrostatic, active monitors etcetc and see what you like.
  17. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader From the Dark Side

    The OP hasn't said if he is a digital or vinyl head and that makes a big difference. Also whether he goes to live performances and wants to create that sound or just likes studio recordings.

    Once defined I'd go the s/h route and/or the nice discounters on pfm.

    FWIW my own system would cost around £40K new but of course I paid much much less than that. This gives me both vinyl and digital playback in a room 26' x 15'


  18. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    People always cite width and length but never room height... Augh... Grumble grumble gnash spit... NURSE!
  19. Rune

    Rune pfm Member

    I have Dali Epicon 8 and found them more enjoyable than the B&W diamond range. Warmer sounding "less hifi" more musical. Amazingly deep and agile base they are in your budget at£11,500.
  20. Pete MB&D

    Pete MB&D Pete Maddex, the one and only!

    And they use non SI units!


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