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When equipment exceeds your expectations…

Discussion in 'audio' started by Del monaco, Dec 31, 2021.

  1. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    amphion argon one definately exceeded expectations .... what a cracking speaker ... it just boogies along and one could easily live with it in a main system
    RoA and Brown Bottle like this.
  2. deserter

    deserter pfm Member

    Another vote for Nait 2, so much better than what followed it

    also Squeezebox touch albeit with Teddy power supply and in to better DAC

    And Well Tempered Simplex

    Amd of course my beloved Larcs
    johnacurtis likes this.
  3. MikeMA

    MikeMA pfm Member

    My dad's original 40 year old Warfedale Diamonds recently rescued from my mother's house and currently installed upstairs in my office system - QUAD 33/303/FM3/computer - and sounding much better than they ought, and much better than some I've had which would have cost several times the price of the Warfedales when new.
    narabdela, darrenyeats and Del monaco like this.
  4. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    NA Hyperspace , Hadcock242se, EAR 834p, UR Simply 4, Sugden A21a, Rotel CD player, Meridian 596 DVD/CD player, Rega Brio R, SF Concertinos, with all of these I'd went from more expensive components (for a variety of reasons) but found to my surprise that I personally preferred these to what I'd owned previously.
  5. Bolle

    Bolle pfm Member

    Bit of a copy paste from another post.

    Last year I set up a budget system in my study for some background music while working from home. This is based on a Raspberry Pi 4 and IQaudio DigiAMP+ HAT. I used an old laptop power supply I had lying around, and spent around 95 Euro in total for this. As speakers a couple of Monitor Audio Silver RX1 and Atacama stands a friend had surplus and he donated to me (well I helped him a lot with his house renovation...). The DigiAMP+ has a DAC that does 24/192 and has about 2 x 35 Watt with the power supply I had (can be less if you use a less powerful one). As software I use piCorePlayer so it seamlessly integrates in my existing LMS/Squeezebox system.
    Initially in a temporary 'case' consisting of an old chinese takeaway plastic box :) with a few holes cut out for cabling, it is now in a Hifiberry case slightly modified to fit the IQaudio HATs speaker terminals.

    As mentioned this system was meant for background music, but I find myself really enjoying it. Up to the point that I start browsing music, looking for favourites, etc.
    This would absolutely be something I could live with as a main system in a smaller room. For reference, my main system is a combined HT/stereo consisting of a Squeezebox Touch, digital into a Marantz AV7005 processor, modded Parasound HCA-2205 amp, ATC SCM40 mk1 speakers. Of course this little system does not reach true big room filling levels, but living in an old Amsterdam city center apartment there is not that often you play at those levels.

    Install LMS on the Raspberry/piCorePlayer (I currently run LMS on an M-ITX small form computer/server), add an external USB drive with your music, and you have a fully integrated storage/server/streamer/amplifier with very decent sound quality in something the size of a deck of cards. LMS integrates your local music, streaming services (I currently use Tidal Hifi), internet radio, podcasts all in one platform. With the latests plug-ins you can also quite easily integrate the wide variety of uPnP/DLNA and AirPlay capable devices as players in the LMS platform. So it could even be the basis for a limited multiroom system, but I assume at some point the Raspberry would run out of steam here.

    For the money spent it absolutely blows me away in terms of sound quality and convenience. And does make you wonder the budgets we sometimes pour in our hobby... So this equipment has certainly exceeded my expectations.

    clownfish and RoA like this.
  6. Dali Pico speakers, bought them for my daughter for Christmas and plumbed them into the main system last week. Can’t have them in her room until her sister moves out in March.

    Close to the wall they produce surprising amounts of bass for their diminutive size. At reasonable listening levels they are very good. All 95% of people would ever need. Shame we make up the other 5%.

    Cheers BB
    darrenyeats likes this.
  7. AndyCC72

    AndyCC72 Active Member

    Probably already been mentioned but the AT VM95ML cart is an utter steal for £140. Best bang for buck I've spent in Hifi and far exceeded my expectations.
    MJS and Bob Edwards like this.
  8. clownfish

    clownfish It's all in the details

    Moving from Naim SU, having had lots of Naim over the years, to a Luxman 505 Mk II counts as one of the best things I’ve ever done. I can’t think of a single thing I miss about Naim after more than 30 years (barring 5 years living in Cape Town) of ownership. For me the Luxman just makes it all sound right, rich and rewarding without sacrificing pace or excitement. And it’s got VU meters :D

    The Allo DigiOne with Shanti is amazing. The quality that thing provides astonishes and for me is right up there in NDX2 territory. Using this Pi based streamer means I can choose my software and update it whenever I want to. This is a big thing for me. Currently using and loving Roon but one day I might need to change … or simply want to. I feel this is an awesome value for money, futureproofed purchase for anyone that doesn’t mind a little bit of setup effort.

    Finally, I’ve owned a few pairs of speakers over the years that have delighted in their own ways:- Celestion Ditton 442 (from the days of ‘they’ve got a lovely tone’), Kans, JBLs and currently the wonderful ProAc D20R. But, the Neat Iota’s I owned were stunning. I replaced Kans with them and felt it was the biggest single upgrade ever! They played beautifully on end of 42/110. Moved to SU and still worked brilliantly. If you have a smallish room, or as in my case, have to use them firing across the short side, these are such bloody amazing fun. Probably not the last word in forensic accuracy but the offer bags of detail that sucks you in and such musicality that ‘just one more’ is everpresent. Highly recommended !
  9. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    I really need to hear one properly, I’ve had a couple of Elys 2s, they were exactly as you describe, and I let both go with minimal use on them.
  10. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    The longer you use the Exact, the better it gets! Seems to open up more and has more depth to it. If you value music more than hi-fi it's a fantastic cartridge. I'm seriously thinking about keeping it and upgrading some other part of the deck instead.
  11. keiron99

    keiron99 pfm Member

    In 40 years, to be brutally honest, I have rarely been surprised. Certainly, "upgrades" to amps (and CD players) have often left me with buyer's remorse.

    But amazingly, in the last few years, I have been wowed by two purchases which have transformed my enjoyment.

    First, I got the Sweet Vinyl Sugarcube "pop and click remover". It's absolutely miraculous. It removes almost all noise and has, to my ears, absolutely no other effect on the sound quality at all. Simply sensational.

    The other is the addition of a REL T9i subwoofer. When I got my Harbeth M30.1 speakers (to replace MA GX100 speakers), I was a tad underwhelmed. They didn't go as deep as I imagined and didn't fill my even modest room.

    I had always assumed subs were for nightclubbers and action movie fans but I took a punt on a REL refurb for £500. I figured I had nothing to lose and actually thought I would sell it on. I couldn't have been more wrong. I could not live without it now. It completely disappears into the room, but provides enormous presence, weight and depth to the music, seemingly right through the range. I don't know how, but it does.
    AndyCC72, PhilofCas, Darren L and 3 others like this.
  12. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    My Naim dealer sells 10 Rel subs for 1 of any other brands he has in stock, that tells me a lot.
    keiron99 likes this.
  13. keiron99

    keiron99 pfm Member

    Nice company to deal with as well. As I was writing my post, I thought I recalled buying directly from REL, but I actually bought it as a B grade from a retailer. The retailer was not good to deal with. The grille was knackered when I received it. I emailed REL about sourcing a replacement and they promptly sent me a new grille.
    Gervais Cote likes this.
  14. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    There is a good profit margin on Rel?
  15. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    They also sell a ton of B&W speakers where they make a lot of profit they told me but the B&W subs sound like sh** when compared to any Rel sub.
  16. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I'm joking. All I'm saying is that dealer selling a lot of something isn't automatically a sign of that something being the best product. It could be, but there are other reasons why he might be selling a lot of them.
    Gervais Cote likes this.
  17. gustav_errata

    gustav_errata pfm Member

    How does BK compare to Rel?
  18. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    Hi, which iteration of the Iota was it please, I didn’t realise but there’s the straight Iota, then the Alpha, then the Explorer.

    Thanks, Phil.
  19. clownfish

    clownfish It's all in the details

    The straight Iota.

    I wouldn’t have moved away from those little beauties but the hifi came out of the lounge and into a much bigger space we converted that doubles for a teenager’s gamesroom and hifi room.

    Even then I wouldn’t have sold them on but a mate who I have been friends with since school and is also into hifi begged me for them!

    Before buying the D20R I auditioned the Iota Alpha. Very similar to the original in many ways and could work for some, but in the larger room the ported bass tended to sound like one note when driven hard. I do like my music loud from time to time so this was important for me and moved up in size to the ProAc’s. A smaller room and I’m sure I would be been delighted with them … or for others that don’t crank it quite so hard.

    There is also something astonishing about the original small Iota’s. First time I heard them I didn’t believe there wasn’t a sub hidden away somewhere . FWIW, I think they pull off two tricks. Amazing bass for such a small speaker. It’s not that they go incredibly deep, it’s more that they give the illusion of that presence and offer a great musical performance. (I think some others may do this too). The second trick IMO is that ribbon tweeter. It’s a thing of musical beauty

    If you do have a listen, please do let us know how you get on.
  20. RoA

    RoA pfm Member

    VdH CS122 Hybrid

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