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Budget System Combo questions

Posted: 07 Jun 2019 08:52
by Pettsvaldo
Hi everyone

Vinyl recidivist here - been lurking for a while, enjoying the knowledge. I embraced ripping and digital about 13 years ago, crazily disposing of all my system seperates but now I'm back for some sweet vinyl crackle.

Using previous forum posts as a guide, I'm putting together my first system (on a very tight budget) but I'm have some questions which I hope the hive mind can give some opinions on.

I have got a Dual 505 in the bag (though not arrived yet) and now I'm homing in on amp/speaker. It'll all be playing in a relatively small room - say, 12' square (almost wrote 12" there, like a real Spinal Tap geek).

Amp - I'm tracking a Cambridge Audio A1, a Rotel RA820AX & a Rotel RA930AX. The A1 feels like it's the runt of this family but between the two Rotels, what's the difference?

Speakers - I'm tracking a pair of B&W DM601 S1 and a pair of Mordaunt Short MS10i. Any thoughts on which will work best with the above combos?

Moreover, what cartridge should I look to put on the Dual to ensure the combinations works best?

Thanks in advance for any help and advice.

Cheers

Kristian

Re: Budget System Combo questions

Posted: 07 Jun 2019 09:38
by andybeau
Can't say to the amp or speakers, but the Dual loves the Ortofon OM series imho. Go for at least a OM10.
Good luck and welcome

Re: Budget System Combo questions

Posted: 07 Jun 2019 13:57
by Pettsvaldo
andybeau wrote:
07 Jun 2019 09:38
Can't say to the amp or speakers, but the Dual loves the Ortofon OM series imho. Go for at least a OM10.
Good luck and welcome
Thanks, Andy - yes, I'd seen people mention the Ortofons. I recall seeing posts advising that certain cartridges could adjust the way certain amps/speakers project the sound (eg, soften an overly bright amp) - don't know if these amps would benefit from that kind of approach.

On a wider point, if there are any thoughts on alternative amps/speakers that I should consider, I'd love feedback.

For reference, I've got about £100 to spend on the amp/speaker combo.

Re: Budget System Combo questions

Posted: 08 Jun 2019 20:21
by Pettsvaldo

Re: Budget System Combo questions

Posted: 08 Jun 2019 20:59
by vintagevinyllover
My two pennorth, casting my mind back. On paper the B&W 601 and Rotel amps work synergistically and all were firmly recommended by hifi press. I’d have loved some B&Ws, definitely aspirational ... and I did have the mordant shorts, which I liked a lot, though with a creek 4040. Meanwhile the 601s came in series 1, 2 and 3. From memory the Rotel 930 is slightly later and a little more power. Both had decent phono stages. However as usual with second hand, it’s the condition thats essential. Hope that helps and do post what you get and how it works out.

Re: Budget System Combo questions

Posted: 08 Jun 2019 21:56
by Pettsvaldo
vintagevinyllover wrote:
08 Jun 2019 20:59
My two pennorth, casting my mind back. On paper the B&W 601 and Rotel amps work synergistically and all were firmly recommended by hifi press. I’d have loved some B&Ws, definitely aspirational ... and I did have the mordant shorts, which I liked a lot, though with a creek 4040. Meanwhile the 601s came in series 1, 2 and 3. From memory the Rotel 930 is slightly later and a little more power. Both had decent phono stages. However as usual with second hand, it’s the condition thats essential. Hope that helps and do post what you get and how it works out.
Thank you so much for the insights, VVL.

I'm worried the B&Ws will get away from me, price wise. If they do though, I'm comfortable that the Mordaunt Shorts will be OK. Saying that, your comment about how the B&Ws and the Rotels combine makes me eager to bring the match together.

I know what you mean about condition - of course, this is pretty much guesswork until they're all in a room together. Then the fun really begins, I guess!

Have you any opinions on the other amps I've highlighted?

Thanks in advance.

Kristian

Re: Budget System Combo questions

Posted: 08 Jun 2019 22:19
by vintagevinyllover
well NAD was always a reliable choice down the years, have to say the technics looks pretty scruffy, which would give me concerns, not just cosmetically but how the internals are holding up...but no deeper insights as never owned those brands. There's a CAS4040 on ebay right now - its a series 2. Mine was an S1, and the S2 was a lot better built, take a look?

Re: Budget System Combo questions

Posted: 08 Jun 2019 22:24
by Pettsvaldo
Just found it - thanks. Not considered Creek before; will do from now on.

Thanks again.

Will keep posted...

TT & Speaker in bag; just Amp now: thoughts on compatibility

Posted: 09 Jun 2019 14:55
by Pettsvaldo
OK, more progress as I've picked up a pair of speakers.

So, set-up when it arrives is currently:
  • Dual 505 (it's fitted with a Ortofon VMS5E MkII Cartridge, apparently though quality unknown)
  • Wharfedale Diamond 8.1
Just contemplating which amp I'll chase now:
  • the Rotel RA-820AX
  • the Rotel RA-930AX
  • the Creek CAS4040s2 that VVL identified earlier
  • the NAD 304
From what I can interpret, the Creek is the most valuable - would that be right? Any preferences from anyone who's dabbled with these? Will any in particular work better than the others with the tt/speakers I've got?

And assuming the cartridge is in acceptable nick, should I stick with it or still get a new one (and, if new one, any recommendations for a man who's wallet is thin)?

Thanks again everyone.

Re: Budget System Combo questions

Posted: 09 Jun 2019 15:42
by Pauw
Partner one of the Rotels with some Mission speakers...it is a match made in heaven. :D

Re: Budget System Combo questions

Posted: 09 Jun 2019 15:52
by raphaelmabo
I would go for the RA-930AX rather than the RA-820. The 930 is a newer construction with more power, and it has a cleaner sound.
I believe it would match well with Wharfedale's.

As for cartridges, well an Ortofon OM10 or OM20 will give a well balanced and quite detailed sound with good stereo imaging, if a bit laidback. But the RA-930AX has rhythm and drive so it should add some needed spice.
(I don't know about the VMS 5E).

NAD 304 is a musical and powerful sounding amplifier. I would rate Rotel as better in terms of hi-fi, NAD paints things broad but works with all types of music.

I don't know much about the Creek 4040, never heard one but I've heard others saying it had a british warmish sound, highly enjoyable.

Re: Budget System Combo questions

Posted: 09 Jun 2019 16:02
by Pettsvaldo
raphaelmabo wrote:
09 Jun 2019 15:52
I would go for the RA-930AX rather than the RA-820. The 930 is a newer construction with more power, and it has a cleaner sound.
I believe it would match well with Wharfedale's.

As for cartridges, well an Ortofon OM10 or OM20 will give a well balanced and quite detailed sound with good stereo imaging, if a bit laidback. But the RA-930AX has rhythm and drive so it should add some needed spice.
(I don't know about the VMS 5E).

NAD 304 is a musical and powerful sounding amplifier. I would rate Rotel as better in terms of hi-fi, NAD paints things broad but works with all types of music.

I don't know much about the Creek 4040, never heard one but I've heard others saying it had a british warmish sound, highly enjoyable.
Wow, thanks for the detailed info Raphael - that's brilliant. I will ponder what you've said and come back with an update when progress is made.

Re: Budget System Combo questions

Posted: 09 Jun 2019 16:04
by Pettsvaldo
Pauw wrote:
09 Jun 2019 15:42
Partner one of the Rotels with some Mission speakers...it is a match made in heaven. :D
Ah, foul temptress - you'll have me down the rabbit hole, buying multiple setups soon enough!

Re: Budget System Combo questions

Posted: 09 Jun 2019 17:46
by Pettsvaldo
Bit of a slip of the finger means I've inadvertently won the RA-820.

I'm thinking I might proceed to chase the RA-930 or the NAD 304 to run a comparison and then sell the "loser" back onto the 'bay.

This may be the white wine talking.

Re: Budget System Combo questions

Posted: 09 Jun 2019 17:57
by andybeau
Wine has bought me lots of interesting things :oops: