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Looking to purchase my "end game" amplifier.

Seatown7

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Greetings. I've been lurking for a bit on this great site and would like some advice.

I've been a fan of the "British hi-fi" stuff for about 20 years now. I've had good luck buying used Naim and Rega gear and getting it to sound well in typically smallish spaces.

As I approach my 60's, I'd have the ability to create a larger, dedicated listening space. I currently have 2 smaller systems in a bedroom and office.
System 1 is built around a Rega Brio R integrated amp, and system 2 is founded on a Naim NAC 72/NAP 140/HiCap separate set up.

My initial plan was to trade in the Brio for a higher end Rega integrated (Aethos...gently used) and power some Kef LS50s with a sub. (I'm also contemplating getting larger floorstanders after getting the new space set up. Sources will include a BlueSound Node streamer and Rega Planar 6 turntable. I've no interest in multi-channel and am looking for a 2 channel system that can slam loud rock and also play quiet jazz and acoustic music at lower levels.

Then I stumbled upon this site and find that you all are pulling the rug out from under my plans. I don't wish to throw money away on names (or Naims) but am willing to spend some $$ on a system that I can ride out my last couple of decades on the planet with.

I like the idea of using a modern integrated amp that is essentially two mono blocks in the same box with a well thought out pre-amp...hence my gravitation towards the Rega Aethos.

What say all of you?
 

BDWoody

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What say all of you?

Welcome!

First question...how big is the new listening space, and how far from your speakers will you be sitting?

Second question...how big is the budget?

LS50's are great, and I love mine, but more than a few feet away and you may be wanting more than they can give you.

Have you considered something like Genelec's or JBL's or other powered monitors? Not trying to make it more complicated, but you did ask... ;)

You have a lot of good options.
 

restorer-john

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The Rega Aethos is a solid, well made proper integrated amplifier that will give you many, many years of performance.

If you get a good trade on a lightly used Aethos, I'd go that way. Your plan is a good one, buy something homegrown.

Forget the little toy amplifiers and flavour of the month low cost recommendations people will throw at you.
 

NiagaraPete

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You can buy a DAC with pre function and then get an awesome power system
Like this:
 

Slayer

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I've no interest in multi-channel and am looking for a 2 channel system that can slam loud rock and also play quiet jazz and acoustic music at lower levels.
Good comments above, Ill throw in my 2cents worth.
Well, I have never really considered LS50's and loud rock in the same sentence. First thing to know is, your budget. Room size as mentioned previously. How big of speakers are you willing to go?
In my opinion it's almost impossible to give good recommendations for your situation, without knowing the answer to those questions that have been posed.
 
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Seatown7

Seatown7

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Thank you for these quick replies.
The new room is 16x20 feet. My listening position will be approximately 10 feet from the wall, 8ish feet from where I guess the speakers will end up.

I do listen to rock, but not so loud anymore…but on occasion…

I don’t want monstrous speakers…probably would like medium to smaller floor standers…Dali Oberon 7s were listened to recently and I liked their presentation for their size. I’m not married to the LS50s, and they could stay in the bedroom system.
 

kevinh

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There is a review of Genelec's here you should read it since the amps are built in there is no iseue. I am considering them for my end game system.
 

Rottmannash

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Maybe consider the new NAD integrated. Looks interesting. NAD C399.
 
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Galliardist

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New amp, wrong order? I'd select the speakers (or at least a short list) first. Don't leave yourself with an amp that won't power your new speakers adequately in that space. There is of course nothing wrong with buying the amp first, but do it with speakers in mind.

That space is quite big, and you will find that you can live with bigger speakers than you might think. Having what they will look like in mind is good.

You probably need to budget and plan for subs even with larger speakers in that space, especially if it is truly a dedicated audio space.

Also since you have the space, you should at least demo a surround music system if there is a dealer near you that can cope with the idea. Apparently people prefer immersive surround in controlled testing, so that piece of advice should be given on ASR... my system is an over the top living room stereo setup with no subs, so I have nothing against you ignoring both of those suggestions, they come from "testing and science". I would have subs if I ever got a dedicated room In a detached house though.

Don't discount non-British designed hi-fi. I used to own UK components (Linn, A&R as they were, KEF, Celestion) but don't any more.

And why the turntable? (I always ask this these days; i consider it pointless to start with one, but in your case I'm sure that you have a large and probably long term collection of LPs, so I guess it's a rhetorical question in this case).
 

MaxBuck

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Greetings. I've been lurking for a bit on this great site and would like some advice.

I've been a fan of the "British hi-fi" stuff for about 20 years now. I've had good luck buying used Naim and Rega gear and getting it to sound well in typically smallish spaces.

As I approach my 60's, I'd have the ability to create a larger, dedicated listening space. I currently have 2 smaller systems in a bedroom and office.
System 1 is built around a Rega Brio R integrated amp, and system 2 is founded on a Naim NAC 72/NAP 140/HiCap separate set up.

My initial plan was to trade in the Brio for a higher end Rega integrated (Aethos...gently used) and power some Kef LS50s with a sub. (I'm also contemplating getting larger floorstanders after getting the new space set up. Sources will include a BlueSound Node streamer and Rega Planar 6 turntable. I've no interest in multi-channel and am looking for a 2 channel system that can slam loud rock and also play quiet jazz and acoustic music at lower levels.

Then I stumbled upon this site and find that you all are pulling the rug out from under my plans. I don't wish to throw money away on names (or Naims) but am willing to spend some $$ on a system that I can ride out my last couple of decades on the planet with.

I like the idea of using a modern integrated amp that is essentially two mono blocks in the same box with a well thought out pre-amp...hence my gravitation towards the Rega Aethos.

What say all of you?
I'd spring for a Topping D30Pro DAC and some flavor of Purifi implementation, along with a high-quality phono preamp (if I had a turntable, which I personally have no use for). Maybe the Cambridge Audio Alva Duo.
 

audio2design

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DACs are a bit of a commodity. Get your end game speaker or close. Then do some end game acoustics. With that even a budget amp shines.
 

Tom C

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I like my LS50’s too, and would agree with BDWoody’s comments. They may be a bit small for your size room. I’m not entirely convinced that a subwoofer will always make up the difference.
Based on your comments, I would give serious consideration to Genelec 1032C. They are pricey, but you do get the power amps built in. My wife gave me a pair of JBL 4349 for Christmas (thank you sweetheart, you’re so very thoughtful), that I’m just delighted with. A pair of those with a good subwoofer, and I think you’d be pretty satisfied.
I don’t look at floorstanders the same way anymore. Despite their size, they don’t all offer the kind of bass output I prefer. I expect you really will appreciate having powerful bass reproduction, not just in the subwoofer region, but in the upper bass, too.
 

Head_Unit

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LS50s with a sub...slam loud rock
Urgh. I think a 5" cone is challenged to output enough midbass to do that. It's just physics. Plus the more the cones move, the more they intermodulate the sound, and the more the moving woofer cone (which acts as a horn in front of the tweeter) affects the tweeter sound. I've long admired KEF but would urge you to get to a dual woofer 3-way, like a Q650C turned vertically or just outright towers. YES nothing wrong with towers with a sub says this loudspeaker engineer. The money spent on the speaker side is far more important than on the amp side, maybe not pyschologically ha ha but making far more difference to the sound.
 
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Seatown7

Seatown7

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Urgh. I think a 5" cone is challenged to output enough midbass to do that. It's just physics. Plus the more the cones move, the more they intermodulate the sound, and the more the moving woofer cone (which acts as a horn in front of the tweeter) affects the tweeter sound. I've long admired KEF but would urge you to get to a dual woofer 3-way, like a Q650C turned vertically or just outright towers. YES nothing wrong with towers with a sub says this loudspeaker engineer. The money spent on the speaker side is far more important than on the amp side, maybe not pyschologically ha ha but making far more difference to the sound.
I’m absolutely in agreement with you on the LS50s, but they’re fantastic in my smaller room. I feel the Brio R is capable of bumping them, but just barely. The Aethos will move those 5” cones with room to spare. I’ll need that juice to eventually move the larger speakers. The Aethos is a smoking deal and is available now. Speakers will be easier to match to an amp with that much muscle. I’m listening to it vs the Brio tomorrow.
 

phoenixdogfan

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Better to get the Metas than the OG LS50s. I own both and IMHO the Metas are far superior. As far as if they're loud enough, I have a single SVS SB 2000 in a smallish room and they are plenty loud enough for me, and just gorgeous sounding. If you need something bigger for a bigger room, I would thing the Ref 3s may be what you are looking for, but they won't sound quite as good.

You might want to look into an NCore or a Purifi. I drive mine with the Purifi Eigentact and it's great. A Hypex NC 252 would be cheaper and probably as good.
 
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Seatown7

Seatown7

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I’ve demo’d my OG LS50s against the Metas. I thought the Metas were different certainly, but not necessarily better. Plus, I got my “Black Edition” LS50s from a guy who hadn’t even put 50 hours on them before stumbling in to a pair of Monitor Audio Platinums. I got them for 1/2 the price of new Metas, and used the savings to buy an REL sub. They sound amazing.
 

Habu

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The Aethos is a smoking deal and is available now.
Hi Seatown7,
The Rega Aethos is in the Benchmark AHB2 price category, too expensive !
You could sell all your stuff and buy the best active monitors and sub within your budget, but you couldn’t play with cables.
There is no « end game » hifi gear, maybe just a wife « end game girl ».
« End game » is sad, let the game continue, and do not buy anything you are not sure to easily sell.
 
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ZolaIII

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@Seatown7 it will only be the end game when you are satisfied and stop buying.
As much as I can see you are far from that.
Best power amplifier ever mesured hire (regarding mesured performance) is still Benchmark AHB2, but I doubt you will be able to catch one with a deal you can't refuse (half the price open box or very little used).
I wouldn't completely agree with restorer-john sometimes there are more than deacent one's with a rather compelig price (not to say cheap) and from traditional brands which perform rather good and will definitely last for long.
I bought my current amplifier for 250$ (half the price of new one) used a little bit, I don't need built in phono stage nor I have any use of bad implemented old digital stage or DSP on it so I chosen a one without it to start with. I am talking about Yamahas (see the R-N803 review about details regarding digital stage and DSP) so I ended up with R-N402D with which I am satisfied for now (it's not a end game for me fur sure but it will serve me a long time).
Cambridge Audio had some interesting models but I am not convinced about quality and longevity of those.
 

Eleo

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Hi @Seatown7,

for the speakers, my advice is for Wharfedale Linton Heritage. I'm very satisfied with mine. They are beautiful to look at and I think they should measure well either. Moreover, they should fit very well in your room. For the amplifier, Rega Aethos is surely a solid performer but a bit overpriced, in my opinion. I'd go with Nad C399 with BlueOS module and Dirac Live.
 
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