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Advice on next step (upgrade)

darrellc

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First, thanks to ASR, what a great resource and help so far!

Background - I spent way too much and believed the audiophile hype in the 90’s and 00’s on hifi (Linn, B&W, cables, power, etc.), been running Sonos for convenience since 2009 and just decided to dabble again for main critical listening system. Rest of house (in ceiling multi channel system and stand alone wireless speakers) is and will remain Sonos.

STARTING POINT:

Got Sonos Amp > Elac Debut 6.2 2.0 (not DBR) but turns out our master bedroom where this system will likely go needs EQ (thanks Housecurve app) and Trueplay doesn’t work with 3rd party speakers. Just messing around with Housecurve and the 4 band PEQ of a WiiM into the Sonos amp convinced me to start with room eq. Huge difference!

Thought about Play 5 x 2 + Sonos mini sub for simplicity, but I want to tweak. I’d probably be happy with sound quality from this setup and I’d still consider reverting to this option.

CURRENT SETUP:

Sonos Connect S15 > Minidsp Flex digital w/ Dirac Live > SMSL D-6S > Fosi v3 (DSP and DAC coming next week, will do PEQ/FIR or Dirac)

Been running Connect S15 (we primarily use Apple Music, but the S15 supports lossless/hi-res via Amazon Music) into Fosi V3 and seems sufficient power. At the loudest, I listen to ~85db average, seeing peaks close to 110db, but most of my listening is around ~70db average. I got a WiiM Pro Plus (and Mini) but want Sonos for consistency and family usability.

Bedroom is roughly 5.5 x 8.5 meters. Speakers need to be close to one of the narrower walls (with one speaker near a corner). Sub can be placed by either speaker.

NEXT UPGRADE:

I’m going to get this system dialed in and will then see, but am tentatively planning/expecting to do one of the following before long, so curious to see what the community here thinks. I’d like to keep budget around/under $2K. There’s no issue spending more if warranted but diminishing marginal returns and my “personal utility function’ means I’d get more spending the funds elsewhere or just putting in my kids’ brokerage accounts. E.g., I’m perfectly happy with the Fosi V3 - I think it sounds fantastic!

Option 1: Upgrade amp and speakers. I’d just step up to something like a Buckeye Hypex NC502 at $695 as not that expensive, certainly more amp than I need and takes any questions about amplification off the table. Would also step up speakers to something like Elac DBR or maybe Ascend Sierra V2… something under $1K. Potential to add a 10” RSL speedwoofer sub or SVS Micro 3000 or similar to just round out the bass a little bit (I don’t want/need a 12” plus too big).

Option 2: Go with an active speaker + sub. Probably KEF LS 50 II or something like that plus sub. My household won’t do Genelec or Neumann for aesthetic reasons. Are there any other active bookshelf speakers for far field listening? I could see doing something like LS60 full range tower and skip sub, but don’t really want to spend $4K+ on something with integrated electronics and esp. software that may be obsolete or not supported in not too distant future.

Thoughts?
 
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GXAlan

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I like option 2, but you can take the Sonos Amp and buy one of the Sonance in wall speakers essentially as a dongle. Once you run the trueplay authentication you can then swap the real speakers in. I have not tried that to see how well it works, but I have read that on the net.

The KEF wireless are nice, as are the JBL and Klipsch actives. The Neumann in white may be an option as well.
 
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darrellc

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I like option 2, but you can take the Sonos Amp and buy one of the Sonance in wall speakers essentially as a dongle. Once you run the trueplay authentication you can then swap the real speakers in. I have not tried that to see how well it works, but I have read that on the net.

The KEF wireless are nice, as are the JBL and Klipsch actives. The Neumann in white may be an option as well.
I just sold the Sonos Amp this am and the Minidsp has shipped out. So kinda committed to that path. I’ll check out the Neumanns in white to see if it passes the look test. KH150 a bit higher than my preferred budget but looks like they might negate need for sub and work better for my room size?
 

GXAlan

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I just sold the Sonos Amp this am and the Minidsp has shipped out. So kinda committed to that path. I’ll check out the Neumanns in white to see if it passes the look test. KH150 a bit higher than my preferred budget but looks like they might negate need for sub and work better for my room size?

Well Option 2 is good. The KH120 II is smaller.
and still good, but the looks are still industrial. The grilles do make them seem more like normal speakers except for the ports.
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