Originally Posted by jamesblond
If you can afford a front end that costs a small fortune, that's great! If I could, I certainly would get something better. For now, though, my Rotel will have to do. It certainly is a helluvalot better than what I had previously (NAD T-752).
During my years as a recording engineer I've heard a bunch of really great sounding systems in great rooms. Even though my Rotel isn't the best amp by far, my room still sounds pretty ok, concidering I've done very little about it. The system as a whole sounds very good and can compete with some of the better sounding studio's I've been in. It's certainly good enough that I can mix and master confidently with it. I agree with you, though: I'm sure I can gain a lot by upgrading the source and amps. But as I've said: I currently can't afford that. In fact, if I hadn't found my S25's used for the price I've paid, I probably wouldn't have had them at all, if ever. As it is, I'm pretty happy with this system.
When the opportunity presents itself, I'll probably upgrade the front end. What int.amp or pre/power combo would you suggest?
There are many schools of thought on "price of upstream components vs. the price of your speakers".
1) Some say your total outlay of upstream should equal but not exceed the cost of your speakers.
2) Others say that each component should be about the same price as your speakers and that cabling about 15-20% of the total cost.
When I first started out with the S25's (11 years ago), my source, pre-amp and amp were about the same price combined as the S25's. In other words, the total of my upstream components, including cabling were about $4800 USD; the S25's were $4800 USD. (First school of thought).
As time rolled along, and I was able to realize how resolving the S25's are, I'm at the point now where each of my individual components cost more than the speakers. (Second school of thought).Very few speakers are able to do this.
For instance, as much as I love the the 160's, throwing 15-20K of electronics at them is a waste of money. They are just not going to resolve that input, whereas the S25's will.
Now, in saying all this, if I were to get a pair of C2's (17K), I would keep my existing electronics, and it would put me back in the first school of thought.
I have a recommendation for you as far as an integrated. I had this unit in my system back when I had the 25's, the C1's, and the Focus 160's at the same time. For the price, it really can't be beat. It did well with all three of the speakers I mentioned above. Dave Belles sent me this unit to really give it a test.http://www.powermodules.com/s-1int.html