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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an older Adcom GFP-565 pre with a Carver TFM-15CB amp (both pushing 15-20 years old). I am considering replacing these with an integrated like the Cambridge 540A or one of the NAD's in that price range (under $400). The rest of my system is a Musical Fidelity V-DAC and some old ESS tower speakers (also looking for alternatives to these if someone has an opinion).


Would this be a bad move in your opinion and if so, why?
 

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Why are you contemplating the change? Is there something about the system you don't like? Is your preamp/amp combo unable to drive your speakers?


If your current electronics can drive your speakers adequately, then I don't think you'll find a substantial difference if you replace them with a newer integrated amplifier.


Now, upgrading the speakers is a whole other matter, and where I'd start if I wanted to change the system's sound.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by milaz001 /forum/post/15490901


why are you contemplating the change? Is there something about the system you don't like? Is your preamp/amp combo unable to drive your speakers?


If your current electronics can drive your speakers adequately, then i don't think you'll find a substantial difference if you replace them with a newer integrated amplifier.


Now, upgrading the speakers is a whole other matter, and where i'd start if i wanted to change the system's sound.

+1
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by milaz001 /forum/post/15490901


Why are you contemplating the change? Is there something about the system you don't like? Is your preamp/amp combo unable to drive your speakers?


If your current electronics can drive your speakers adequately, then I don't think you'll find a substantial difference if you replace them with a newer integrated amplifier.


Now, upgrading the speakers is a whole other matter, and where I'd start if I wanted to change the system's sound.

*

+2


Unless something in the preamp or amp is not working as it should, I see no reason to swap them out. That is, unless you have the money and just want to spend it. I'd spend it on speakers first. Its the only part of your system that has any moving parts and is most susceptible to wear. Maybe its time to re-foam them?


You need to toss out a budget if you want any meaningful suggestions.
 

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I always prefer integrated due to the simplicity of the design but there is no way which one is better until you actually audition the integrated you want to get in your house and double blind test them. Frankly I'd replace the speakers first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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Originally Posted by Veda /forum/post/15504815


I always prefer integrated due to the simplicity of the design but there is no way which one is better until you actually audition the integrated you want to get in your house and double blind test them. Frankly I'd replace the speakers first.

Well, this is an experiment that won't cost me much if anything to try. My equipment has left me feeling there is room for improvement, and who here doesn't try new things or tweak?

I got a Cambridge 640A as a demo from Audio Advisor for $359 shipped with a 30 day return policy. After several hours comparison going back and forth, the Cambridge is a small improvement, especially in the bass department- fuller and clearer. The high end is similarly smooth thru the Adcom and the Cambridge (no harshness at all with either). Considering I can sell the Carver and Adcom for about what I paid for the Cambridge (maybe better), I think I'll stick with the 640A and have a remote to boot.


I love the ESS sound, except the bass is not great (not nearly as clear or tight as my Energy RC-50's for instance). Can you guys recommend a speaker that has the ESS treble clarity (ribbon or electrostatic I guess) but in a modern design that has better bass? It seems all the mid-fi metal domes I hear are okay, but the ribbon type in the ESS after 25 years still outshines them considerably in openess and clarity and this is the lower end ESS Performance Heil I'm talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Originally Posted by Veda /forum/post/15513330


Perhaps an Acculine A3 or A3R floorstander? It's the cheapest planar I can think of.

I have been reading up on these- thanks for the info, I may try them.
 

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Originally Posted by tim3320070 /forum/post/15516220


I have been reading up on these- thanks for the info, I may try them.

Cool, let us know how it goes. I haven't heard them as well and have been interested in having them for a 5.1 setup.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 /forum/post/15506904


Well, this is an experiment that won't cost me much if anything to try. My equipment has left me feeling there is room for improvement, and who here doesn't try new things or tweak?

I got a Cambridge 640A as a demo from Audio Advisor for $359 shipped with a 30 day return policy. After several hours comparison going back and forth, the Cambridge is a small improvement, especially in the bass department- fuller and clearer. The high end is similarly smooth thru the Adcom and the Cambridge (no harshness at all with either). Considering I can sell the Carver and Adcom for about what I paid for the Cambridge (maybe better), I think I'll stick with the 640A and have a remote to boot.


I love the ESS sound, except the bass is not great (not nearly as clear or tight as my Energy RC-50's for instance). Can you guys recommend a speaker that has the ESS treble clarity (ribbon or electrostatic I guess) but in a modern design that has better bass? It seems all the mid-fi metal domes I hear are okay, but the ribbon type in the ESS after 25 years still outshines them considerably in openess and clarity and this is the lower end ESS Performance Heil I'm talking about.

Just reading through the posts, which ESS model do you have? I have Dali's which have integrated a ribbon and dome for the high's. I fell in love with ESS sound, but found the bass sloppy as well.


Joshua
 

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I hear ya' on that.


I was always mainly a 2-channel music guy, and I actually tried the top-line Denon AVR , but finally ended up with 2-channel B&K separates.


The Denon was a great AVR in it's own right, but I would never go back from the B&K's to an AVR for 2-channel music now.
 

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Slightly older thread, but if there ever appear good, affordable, consumer-friendly (Audyssey, Trinnov, etc) standalone RC/EQ devices, then I would finally regret not getting separates over the integrated that I use. I understand that my 840A can still be used as dedicated pre/pro or 2ch amp, but I would've decided otherwise with the strengths of RC I have found in my HT. YMMV.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jostenmeat /forum/post/16099220


Slightly older thread, but if there ever appear good, affordable, consumer-friendly (Audyssey, Trinnov, etc) standalone RC/EQ devices, then I would finally regret not getting separates over the integrated that I use. I understand that my 840A can still be used as dedicated pre/pro or 2ch amp, but I would've decided otherwise with the strengths of RC I have found in my HT. YMMV.

What is a "standalone RC/EQ device?"
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WCoast02 /forum/post/16099595


What is a "standalone RC/EQ device?"

Something like these. However, at least for some, they don't exactly qualify as "affordable".

http://www.audyssey.com/soundequalizer/index.html

http://www.trinnov-audio.com/optimizer.php


I could get Pro capability in a HOME THEATER receiver/pre, but I don't necessarily want to use something like that with my stereo electrostats.


As it is, I already use a receiver acting as pre/pro in the HT. I chose that route to save money, which is the same reason I chose a 2ch integrated for stereo. . . but, I think doing the redundant/useless amp section once is good enough, for me, for now. I suppose I could do a mch/HT pre/pro for the stereo, but someone recently told me to keep my eyes out for mid-level standalone devices to come in the near future. I'm still waiting.



Good luck.
 

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Yea, if they ever have a standalone Audyssey unit that's affordable like oh $500... kinda like The Link DAC revolution back in the late 90's.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda /forum/post/16101586


Yea, if they ever have a standalone Audyssey unit that's affordable like oh $500... kinda like The Link DAC revolution back in the late 90's.

This ( http://www.uniquesquared.com/servlet...DEQ2496/Detail ) is no Audyssey, but it permits you to do room response correction in 2 channel environment, and also serves as a decent DAC. It is priced well below $500.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 /forum/post/16103901


This ( http://www.uniquesquared.com/servlet...DEQ2496/Detail ) is no Audyssey, but it permits you to do room response correction in 2 channel environment, and also serves as a decent DAC. It is priced well below $500.

Yeah, this line of product seems to be oft recommended! Particularly the DCX version for implementing bookshelves + subs.


However, not only did I mention "affordable", but "consumer friendly" too!



I am quite certain I would have no idea what I would be doing with that, and I give myself a 50/50 chance on either making my room response/interaction better or worse.
 

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I am big on affordable. (Read that, cheap). The B&K with replacement input and feedback caps can take on anything under a couple of K. The Arragon sure was good, but $500 vs $1200.... ( yea, a long time ago) I find a used Hafler to be just as good. I have three of them as well. Rotel and Parasound do well, but I guess the reputation is holding up their price. Same with the B&K's.
 
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