The Two Channel Advice Thread

Discussion in 'Advice Threads' started by purr1n, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. Salamero

    Salamero Rando

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    Hi everyone, so my current set up is a bluesound node 2i streaming (Tidal & Amazon Music HD) into the internal DAC of my Cambridge audio CXA81 out to a pair of Focal Aria 936 floorstanding speakers (no subwoofer currently). I listen to a lot of rock and alternative/indie music so midrange is pretty important to me. I'm very happy with the current sound of my system but I've always been curious about adding a tube pre-amp to the audio chain to "warm-up?" the midrange (I always assume tubes "enrich" this part of the frequency range) so I am currently considering a Schiit Freya. My question to everyone here is, is it worth the $800 or $900 and by that I mean am I actually going to notice a difference? I know I can tell the difference between Spotify and Tidal or streaming Tidal through BT aptx vs Tidal through the Bluesound so I like to think I have somewhat discriminating ears but there's also been times where I can't like when I listen to my old Paradigm Studio 60 v5s vs my Focals for short stints I have a hard time hearing the difference (for longer sessions I definitely feel the difference in terms of the paradigms being more fatiguing and sometimes missing some of the midrange fullness that the Focals deliver). I know this is all subjective to a certain extent but would I just be adding noise to the audio chain or is there a noticeable improvement that can be had from adding the Freya to my system? Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2022
  2. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    You’ll likely notice a difference, but doubt you’ll gain the full potential of it since the CXA81 doesn’t have a preamp input, you’re still going through the preamp in the CXA before getting to the power amp section. Therefore, in addition to possibly doubling up on gain and/or attenuation within the CXAs preamp section, you’re also potentially subtracting (or adding in a bad way) to the sound quality, based on the inherent quality of the internal preamp of the CXA, which will limit what the Freya can really do for you, and keep the “flavour” of the CXA preamp in the chain anyhow.

    Also to do this, you would need to use the DAC in your Node in order to use the analog outputs of the Node to feed the Freya. Don’t know if you considered this or not and/or whether you prefer the DAC in the CXA over the Node, but you can’t use the DAC in the CXA in that setup.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2022
  3. dericchan1

    dericchan1 Acquaintance

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    Hi everyone.

    I have finally made a decision to upgrade from my Monitor Audio Silver 300 6G and put almost all of my budget into a pair of Monitor Audio Platinum PL200ii (4ohm 90db sensitivity, measured closer to 87-88db). The idea is to gradually build/upgrade my system around these PL200ii over the next few years. These PL200ii are very neutral, accurate, fast speakers that are pretty much flat linear in frequency response. (I have made a deposit but not yet received them yet)

    My current system is a IFI NEO IDSD DAC, Schiit Freya + tube preamp, Roksan K3 power amp, PL200ii and a pair of Power Sound Audio S15 subwoofer.

    While I don't believe the new speakers should be particularly hard to drive and I figure the K3 power amp with 140wpc @ 8ohms and 220wpc @ 4ohms should have enough juice to drive them in a 14" x 32" x 8" listening room, I did read many reviews claiming the speakers will benefit from having more powerful amplifier.

    Hoping to hear from everyone who may or may not have heard or owned these speakers advice on what I should be looking into for solid state amplifiers (new or used say with a budget of 3-4k)? I have read some of the newer class D amps - VTV purifi, hypex will give you the power you need and are relatively affordable to have.......

    Thanks in advance and look forward to hear from you

    Cheers

    Deric
     
  4. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    I don’t know your speakers really, but if I had $3-4K to spend on an amp, I’d be grabbing 2 Schiit Tyr monoblocks, no question. You may want to take a look at them if you haven’t already. I just can’t do class D, although I’ve not heard the Purifi stuff yet or some of the new GaN stuff.
     
  5. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

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    Heard from a few people that Purifi has less heart than Hypex NCore. Some of the GaN stuff doesn't seem to be well-received either, but I'm sure implementation is way more important than transistor types so there might be something GaN that isn't bad.

    Class D is fine if you're looking for something power-efficient that isn't too heavy to move around. Class D can sound 'pretty good', but if power efficiency and weight aren't that important to you, maybe you should be looking elsewhere for more emotional engagement.

    Also, tried a VTV NC502mp amplifier for handling bass woofers in a bi-amping config. When I tried it as a full-range amp, for fun, it never made me say, "okay, just one more song."
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2022
  6. dericchan1

    dericchan1 Acquaintance

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    Thanks, simply speculating at this point, it might just turn out the K3 amplifier will be good enough I can live with for the next little while. After all, Monitor audio owns Roksan and the K3 amplifier was designed to work with Monitor audio speakers. Schiit Tyr does sound promising!! cheers
     
  7. dericchan1

    dericchan1 Acquaintance

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    Hi everyone, further to the earlier discussion re: class d amp, i ended up traded in my monitor audio silver 300 and the Roksan k3 amp for a pretty reasonable deal on a few weeks old NuPrime Evolution STA hybrid class d amp, after reading this review and auditioned at the store.

    https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/nuprime-audio-evolution-sta-power-amplifier/

    still waiting for my new speakers to arrive to see how the new system will sound.

    With the new changes, I will need longer run of speaker cables, any suggestions for speaker cables that won’t break the bank?

    Cheers
     
  8. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

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    What does 'won't break the bank' mean to you? What range are we talking?
     
  9. dericchan1

    dericchan1 Acquaintance

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    I am potentially eyeing some pro cables say canare 4s11 or Morgami W3103 with decent banana plugs or spades prob <$200?
     
  10. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

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    sounds like something from Worlds Best Cables on Amazon. They make different versions of exactly that.
     
  11. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    I went from up to $2k spkr cables to Canare 4s11. This cable is fine especially with bare wire connections. They all have just a bit of difference in sound and the Canare does not seem to do anything wrong.
     
  12. Climber

    Climber Acquaintance

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    Blue Jeans Cable also offers the Canare -- worth a look particularly if you need custom lengths or terminations.
     
  13. dericchan1

    dericchan1 Acquaintance

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    Thanks guys. Will probably focus on looking at the canare 4s11 vs morgami w3011 and see if others noted any differences.
    I suppose either one would be just fine

    cheers

    Deric
     
  14. Garns

    Garns Friend

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  15. dericchan1

    dericchan1 Acquaintance

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  16. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    fwiw, I tried the Supra wire a dozen years ago and found it to be rather soft sounding. Did not work well with my setup at the time. I do like their power cable wire though.
     
  17. dericchan1

    dericchan1 Acquaintance

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    A buddy brought me a pair of older transparent musicwave and a pair of Inakustic reference LS502 cables to try. I found the Inakustic cables slightly warmer, fuller character matched slightly better with the neutral sounding PL200ii and the nuprime amplifier. The rca red plates 5692 tubes in the Freya +also helps with adding a sense of warmth and smoothness to the system.

    The system is sounding really good so far!!

    cheers

    Deric
     
  18. beemerphile

    beemerphile Friend

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