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My 1st hi-fi system with NHT C4 speakers. Need Amplifier + DAC advice. Budget up to $2300.

Rosokha

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Hello! I'm very glad to have found this forum. I've read many topics already and decided to create my own. I hope for your help. Sorry for any possible mistakes - I used Chat GPT to translate the text.

I'm putting together my first hi-fi system for streaming music (Deezer/Apple Music/Tidal/Qobuz).

My budget is $3000. The first thing I thought about was buying Kef LS50 Wireless 2 and sticking with it, but the situation turned out differently.

Completely by chance, I managed to buy a pair of floor-standing NHT C4 speakers in practically new condition. I paid $700 for the pair. I really liked how they sound. I listened to them paired with the Anthem STR Integrated and they sounded fantastic!

I brought the NHT C4 speakers home, connected them to my low-power amplifier + DAC, and they... just play. They play decently, but there's a huge gap compared to the Anthem STR Integrated.

The Anthem STR Integrated is ideal, but it doesn't fit into my budget. Now I have $2300 left to complete the system. It could be:
  1. an all-in-one solution
  2. an integrated amplifier with built-in DAC + streamer
  3. separate amplifier + DAC + streamer
I don't need a phono stage. Also, in the beginning, I can use an iPhone/macbook as a source. I'll be listening at low and medium volumes. Never at high.

My budget is up to $2300.

My speakers are not the simplest. Here are the specifications of my speakers:

Sensitivity: 86dB (2.83v@1m)
Impedance: 6 ohms nominal, 4 ohms min.
Recommended Power: 75 - 250 w/ch

I ask for your help: what devices should I consider buying? I'm considering both new and used equipment. I'm in Ukraine, but I can bring equipment from any well-known brand from any European country. There are no problems with that.

I would be very, very grateful for equipment advice.
 

Beave

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Some of the difference you heard - or maybe A LOT of the difference you heard - could be due to the different rooms more than the different amplifiers. Room acoustics and speaker placement make big differences in the sound you hear.

What amplifier do you have now?
 
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Rosokha

Rosokha

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Some of the difference you heard - or maybe A LOT of the difference you heard - could be due to the different rooms more than the different amplifiers. Room acoustics and speaker placement make big differences in the sound you hear.

What amplifier do you have now?
Thank you for your response.

I'm temporarily using a DIY amplifier and a DIY DAC based on the TDA1387 from our local audio master. He lent them to me for temporary use.

You're probably right about the room - I listened to the Anthem STR + C4 combo in a room with almost perfect acoustics.

But I still need an all-in-one device or an amplifier-DAC. My speakers have low sensitivity and require a high-power amplifier (according to their specifications). But is power really important if I listen at low to moderate volumes?
 

ZolaIII

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I really don't know what to tell you. Didn't find measurements for them and they are 4 way. Judging by C3 it's about 85 dB SPL @1 W 8 Ohms and doesn't deap under 4.2 Ohms. There are good PA's with DSP (FIR + PEQ) and not very expensive like Dynacord L1300FD (240 W @ 8 Ohms) but they are balanced and I don't know streamer with balanced output and you would need to adjust cable yourself (just cut it on speakers side). All in one there is Yamaha R-N range with YPAO and preferably R-N803 if you can find it new or little used but they give 60/100/130 W @ 8 Ohms clean/rated/measured max continuously.
Option C see what you can get from proper Purifi/Hypex module based one's with around 250 W @ 8 Ohms output and pair it with MiniDSP Flex and WiiM Mini (Toslink to Flex and analog from it to power amplifier).
 
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Rosokha

Rosokha

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I really don't know what to tell you. Didn't find measurements for them and they are 4 way. Judging by C3 it's about 85 dB SPL @1 W 8 Ohms and doesn't deap under 4.2 Ohms. There are good PA's with DSP (FIR + PEQ) and not very expensive like Dynacord L1300FD (240 W @ 8 Ohms) but they are balanced and I don't know streamer with balanced output and you would need to adjust cable yourself (just cut it on speakers side). All in one there is Yamaha R-N range with YPAO and preferably R-N803 if you can find it new or little used but they give 60/100/130 W @ 8 Ohms clean/rated/measured max continuously.
Option C see what you can get from proper Purifi/Hypex module based one's with around 250 W @ 8 Ohms output and pair it with MiniDSP Flex and WiiM Mini (Toslink to Flex and analog from it to power amplifier).
Wow! Thanx a lot for such insightful advice. R-N803 looks like a very interesting solution
 

ZolaIII

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Wow! Thanx a lot for such insightful advice. R-N803 looks like a very interesting solution
There is a newer R-N trio also 800A, 1000 & 2000 but not exactly the value like older 803/803D.
 

antcollinet

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Hello! I'm very glad to have found this forum. I've read many topics already and decided to create my own. I hope for your help. Sorry for any possible mistakes - I used Chat GPT to translate the text.

I'm putting together my first hi-fi system for streaming music (Deezer/Apple Music/Tidal/Qobuz).

My budget is $3000. The first thing I thought about was buying Kef LS50 Wireless 2 and sticking with it, but the situation turned out differently.

Completely by chance, I managed to buy a pair of floor-standing NHT C4 speakers in practically new condition. I paid $700 for the pair. I really liked how they sound. I listened to them paired with the Anthem STR Integrated and they sounded fantastic!

I brought the NHT C4 speakers home, connected them to my low-power amplifier + DAC, and they... just play. They play decently, but there's a huge gap compared to the Anthem STR Integrated.

The Anthem STR Integrated is ideal, but it doesn't fit into my budget. Now I have $2300 left to complete the system. It could be:
  1. an all-in-one solution
  2. an integrated amplifier with built-in DAC + streamer
  3. separate amplifier + DAC + streamer
I don't need a phono stage. Also, in the beginning, I can use an iPhone/macbook as a source. I'll be listening at low and medium volumes. Never at high.

My budget is up to $2300.

My speakers are not the simplest. Here are the specifications of my speakers:

Sensitivity: 86dB (2.83v@1m)
Impedance: 6 ohms nominal, 4 ohms min.
Recommended Power: 75 - 250 w/ch

I ask for your help: what devices should I consider buying? I'm considering both new and used equipment. I'm in Ukraine, but I can bring equipment from any well-known brand from any European country. There are no problems with that.

I would be very, very grateful for equipment advice.
With that budget - Hypex Nilai or Purify based power amp, together with the Wiim Pro+ streamer/DAC. Or if you can wait a little (around 4 months or so) for the streamer/DAC, wait to see what the Wiim Ultra looks like.

Perfect little system.

And I second what others are saying most likely the difference you hear is in the room, not the amp.
 

DVDdoug

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Integrated amplifiers usually have tone controls. It may not have been adjusted "flat". ;)

You get the most for your money with an audio video receiver. I paid about $300 USD for my "cheap" AVR and I'm happy with it. It doesn't have built-in streaming but it's got plenty of analog & digital inputs. I think it has Bluetooth so I could stream from my phone or some other device but I don't use that.

But is power really important if I listen at low to moderate volumes?
Correct. If you're not hearing distortion when you turn it up you don't need more power. The power or 'headroom" doesn't do anything if you're not using it.

But if you turn-up the bass you might need more power and +3dB (a fairly small change) requires a doubling of power.
 

jhaider

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Some of the difference you heard - or maybe A LOT of the difference you heard - could be due to the different rooms more than the different amplifiers. Room acoustics and speaker placement make big differences in the sound you hear.

What amplifier do you have now?
In this case it's also likely room correction.

Given that NHT C-4 have pretty solid bass and assuming no subwoofer, that leads me to three possible suggestions: Lyngdorf TDAI-1120, NAD M10, and an Anthem MRX-line AVR.

Between the first two, M10 has more power (I think) and is smaller (I know). Dirac Live and RoomPerfect are both excellent - personally I prefer Dirac's "draw the curve you want" approach, but Lyngdorf's "voicing" PEQ works just fine too. If you plan to add subs, given that NAD has promised Dirac Live Bass Control for this product for years but has failed to deliver, Lyngdorf will likely do a better job of integrating them; RoomPerfect is better at that than base Dirac is, IMO.

Why the AVR? You'll get ARC Genesis room correction in a cheaper package than the STR line. I suspect this option will be cheaper than the dedicated 2-channel stuff, though I haven't looked at Anthem AVR pricing recently. Downside is the (erroneous, IMO) perception that AVRs are somehow inferior to 2-channel gear. In fact for 2-channel an AVR with power-supply designed to feed 5 or 7 channels will do just fine driving 2 speakers.

All that said, my pick would be Lyngdorf. I just like that little-ish integrated. Also RoomPerfect is the easiest room correction system to set up and get good results out of the box IMO.
 
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Rosokha

Rosokha

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In this case it's also likely room correction.

Given that NHT C-4 have pretty solid bass and assuming no subwoofer, that leads me to three possible suggestions: Lyngdorf TDAI-1120, NAD M10, and an Anthem MRX-line AVR.

Between the first two, M10 has more power (I think) and is smaller (I know). Dirac Live and RoomPerfect are both excellent - personally I prefer Dirac's "draw the curve you want" approach, but Lyngdorf's "voicing" PEQ works just fine too. If you plan to add subs, given that NAD has promised Dirac Live Bass Control for this product for years but has failed to deliver, Lyngdorf will likely do a better job of integrating them; RoomPerfect is better at that than base Dirac is, IMO.

Why the AVR? You'll get ARC Genesis room correction in a cheaper package than the STR line. I suspect this option will be cheaper than the dedicated 2-channel stuff, though I haven't looked at Anthem AVR pricing recently. Downside is the (erroneous, IMO) perception that AVRs are somehow inferior to 2-channel gear. In fact for 2-channel an AVR with power-supply designed to feed 5 or 7 channels will do just fine driving 2 speakers.

All that said, my pick would be Lyngdorf. I just like that little-ish integrated. Also RoomPerfect is the easiest room correction system to set up and get good results out of the box IMO.
Thank you very much for your comment. You listed some really worthy amplifiers. However, I've already put together a decent system during that time. I'll tell you about it in the comment below.
 
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Rosokha

Rosokha

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So, friends, I've assembled a system around the NHT-C4.I've decided to continue my journey with Linn
Here's what it looks like:
Speakers - NHT C4
Power amplifier - Linn AV 5105
Preamplifier with FPGA DAC - Linn Kinos
Streamer - Linn Sneaky DS
Cables - Linn K20 Cable, Chord Codac Silver Plus Digital Coax Cable, Sonic Linc Lilac Interconnect Cable
Streaming Services - Qobuz, Deezer

I use the built-in DAC of the Linn Kinos, and I only use the Linn Sneaky DS as a transport. But recently, I learned that the Linn Sneaky DS has a space optimization function. And now I want to test the DAC of the Linn Sneaky DS with space correction.

Are there any owners of similar devices on this forum as mine? I'd be happy to chat.
 
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