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Time To Simplify

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Posted on December 26, 2016 at 19:34:18
russ69
Audiophile

Posts: 920
Joined: December 13, 2009
I'm moving into a new house and I didn't quite get the music room I would have liked to get. But I got a decent size room (a little bigger than most bedrooms). But one thing has been bugging me lately, my reference system is a complex biamped mess and I've got way more equipment than I can use. So....I think I'm going to make my life easier and run an integrated amp and a disc player and call it a day. No more flipping 7 switches and waiting a half hour for everything to warm up. This will be the first time in 40 years I wont be running separates in my main system. Will I be able to cope with a serious lack of tweaking opportunities?

 

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RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 27, 2016 at 01:27:27
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4418
Joined: July 6, 2002
I see an integrated as a straitjacket but then it might make life easier. Just that not all of them have a pre-out main in set of jacks to allow easy biamping.

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 27, 2016 at 05:03:44
neolith
Audiophile

Posts: 3817
Location: Virginia
Joined: February 21, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
December 2, 2004
CDs and a CDP are a thing of the past. Look into ripping your CD's to FLAC and running off a computer through a good DAC. All your music available with a few clicks of the mouse. Put your CD's in storage as a safety backup. Streaming from the computer can replace a tuner with only a slight decrease in quality (or none depending on the tuner).
If you are thinking of going back to a single amp rather than biamping then maybe you should look into getting x.7 speakers so you don't have tweakers remorse. I had always biamped my Maggies going back to 1980 but am with a single amp now (3.7i) and fairly satisfied but I am considering a bigger amp. As far as an integrated goes, IMO you give up a lot, either in sound or $$$, and only save one component.
The ultimate downsize would be a computer, DAC, headphone amp and high quality headphone -- this is going to be my system for the next month as I am scheduled for a stem cell transplant and will be in the hospital. I bought a set of Hifiman HE-400s and paired it with a Schiit Magni Uber DAC and Objective O2 head amp (total cost ~$500 + the laptop) and it sounds really good.



I married the perfect woman. The downside is everything that goes wrong is my fault.



 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 27, 2016 at 05:48:26
Green Lantern
Audiophile

Posts: 13731
Location: San Diego, Ca
Joined: November 12, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
June 17, 2003
best of wishes to you Neo~


 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 27, 2016 at 06:43:29
66mgb
Audiophile

Posts: 152
Location: Pioneer California
Joined: November 8, 2009
I agree with Neolith, re. ripping CD's I have all my CD's on a MAC Mini. I use Audirvana Plus for the software for playback. Audirvana has an app i use on my IPAD so I control everything from my chair. Pass Labs makes a very good integrated amp.

 

I think will only work if you find..., posted on December 27, 2016 at 07:06:59
Jonesy
Audiophile

Posts: 1231
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Joined: September 1, 2005
an integrated amp that sounds better than your current set up. Otherwise you'll always be second guessing your decision.

Cheers!

Jonesy

"I know just enough to get into trouble. But not enough to get out of it."

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 28, 2016 at 11:43:00
George S. Roland
Audiophile

Posts: 1027
Location: N W Pennsylvania
Joined: March 20, 2004
Hi,

I have heard good things about Lyngdorf's TDAI 2170, which is an integrated amp with what seems to be good number and types of inputs a "RoomPerfect" room correction system built in, 170w/Ch into 4 ohms and excellent reviews.
I have never heard one, but reviews suggest it is sonically very good.

George

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 28, 2016 at 12:50:10
slapshot
Audiophile

Posts: 1943
Joined: January 9, 2006
Contributor
  Since:
January 12, 2010
There are some good integrated amps out there; to name a few:

Pass Labs

Vinni Rossi

Accuphase

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 28, 2016 at 22:11:53
russ69
Audiophile

Posts: 920
Joined: December 13, 2009
I was thinking of a pair of Maggie 3.7i, a midrange Musical Fidelity and my Elite Blu-ray player. It's hard to get simpler than that.

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 28, 2016 at 22:40:09
russ69
Audiophile

Posts: 920
Joined: December 13, 2009
"I agree with Neolith, re. ripping CD's I have all my CD's on a MAC Mini. I use Audirvana Plus for the software for playback. Audirvana has an app i use on my IPAD so I control everything from my chair."

I'm not sure how adding a DAC, a computer and an Iphone is making things simpler, lol.

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 28, 2016 at 22:50:20
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4418
Joined: July 6, 2002
That would be a high end Musical Fidelity like the KW or nuvista 800 integrated. The others don't have the current capability at 4 ohms - and the 3.7 drops below 4 ohms and down to even below 3 over rather wide swaths of the freq range.

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 28, 2016 at 23:17:55
russ69
Audiophile

Posts: 920
Joined: December 13, 2009
I was thinking about the M6si, 220 watts into 8ohms. I have used the smaller one on the 1.6s and Martin Logan requests and they did just fine. Really robust little dudes and can handle low impedance loads. I even tried to shut down my buddies A3 (I think it was)and 1.6s playing ELP "tank" at full song and it breezed right through it. I'm willing to learn but I thought it might work? I have a little Creek Evo2 (75 watt) for testing and if it doesn't work out, I can put my Parasound A21 on it or my big Mac(400wpc)? Have you ever run a Musical Fidelity with Maggies or just looking at spec sheets?

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 29, 2016 at 09:28:35
BigguyinATL
Manufacturer

Posts: 3054
Joined: April 10, 2002
If you do not listen at levels similar to live concerts then you can be served by a good integrated amplifier. I have paired MMG's with a nice little Teac integrated AI-501DA 90Watts Class D and it works well - Lot's of digital ins - but no phono preamp. Sounds as

A friend/customer has has done what you did - move to a place with a smaller listening room and popped for a MA8000 from Mcintosh - and asked me to set it up a couple days ago. He has new 3.7's too but uses phono as well - my guess is this amp is as good (or better) than my MC352. Plus state of the art D-A and will last him... well like a Mcintosh.

The MAC is not my kind of simple - but this unit will serve him well should he wrap a full HT system around it sometime later. I'm working on a new rack for him. And the tone controls are very useful as we found - not only for adjusting for some room issues - but also to tweak some source recording deficiencies.

The best feature is the input level trim. This way his four sources can be "balanced so when you switch the levels mostly match. Only thing missing from the MAC are Bluetooth RCVR (no biggy) and Network inputs (we use his OPPO.)


"The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat" - Confucius

 

Here's a thread on amp brands with Maggies 3.7's..., posted on December 29, 2016 at 11:00:23
Jonesy
Audiophile

Posts: 1231
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Joined: September 1, 2005
... speculating the integrated versions would do well.

Happy hunting!

Jonesy

"I know just enough to get into trouble. But not enough to get out of it."

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 29, 2016 at 12:05:13
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4418
Joined: July 6, 2002
Tried the 3A on the Vandy 2C, they choked on loud passages and was rather hot, did not buy. The Vandy has a dipping impedance too, which the 1.6 does not but 3.7i does - and for a large portion of the freq range. The 3.7 is probably the hardest impedance curve of all maggies yet.

Though they are great sounding, the lighter MF amps are not high current amplifiers. The bigger ones are. Given the M6 is a bigger version then it might be a workable solution if you don't drive it too hard. But I would try first in this case if you insist. As an example of what happens when you run an amp into too low a load I can give the Bryston 4B NRB which ran scary hot driving my 2.75ohm tweeter. Which was electronically crossed over at 5khz. I then put a 1.25 ohm mills resistor and it ran cool. Didn't like the results in sound - thin and bleached.

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 30, 2016 at 11:24:07
russ69
Audiophile

Posts: 920
Joined: December 13, 2009
Thanx Sadie. I listen at lower volumes but I'll check with the Musical Fidelity dealer before I buy. Perhaps if the little Creek integrated doesn't choke, we'll know something about my power requirements after that test. I usually can get away with a solid 60wpc amp. My days of playing loud are long past, I always set my volume at the lowest possible satisfying setting. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with difficult loads but if it gets smoking hot at lower volumes, it's a clue that the amp is not happy.

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 30, 2016 at 12:06:00
johng@clark
Audiophile

Posts: 56
Joined: April 11, 2001
You won't miss tweaking. A couple weeks ago I went from a complicated biamped system. I removed the preamp, electronic xover and second set of monblocks. Now using the headphone jack of my CD player to connect to a small power amp then to the stock passive xovers of 3.5Rs. Sounds better.

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 30, 2016 at 13:11:15
Audiophilander
Audiophile

Posts: 30023
Location: Fort Worth (D/FW Metroplex)
Joined: March 31, 2000
You're right, that is simple, but just to toss another option into the mix, here's my suggestion...

If you're downsizing for operational simplicity's sake the best way to go might be Sanders. The Sanders Preamplifier and Magtech amp can be left on all the time without posing a massive power drain. The Magtech amp also produces the kind of wattage that Maggie's love.

The 3.7i Maggies should be as harmonious in a small to medium sized listening as their beefier breathern in a larger one. Dependent upon your musical tastes you may find integrating one or two well designed subwoofers might make downsizing more palatable, purist opinions to the contrary notwithstanding. Your Elite Blu-Ray player should work well and now warm-up is required.

I'm not sure that the Musical Fidelity integrated option will provide enough wattage to make those mid-sized Maggie's sing, but that's purely conjecture on my part. That said, if simplifying is being contemplated for budgetary reasons, the more minimalist Musical Fidelity configuration might prove the better option.

I fully understand about the switch flipping warm-up conundrum. I currently flip five switches, four directly involving tube electronics (two with my Audible Illusions preamp & two due to the modification of my ModWright OPPO player) and then typically wait 30 minutes before serious listening to give the tubes time to fully warm-up. Design-wise, there isn't much warm-up needed with the ModWright, but the Audible Illusions preamp seems to require a little more patience.

Cheers,
AuPh

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 30, 2016 at 15:49:02
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4418
Joined: July 6, 2002
I just leave the low power non mechanical SS on all the time, the tube stuff requires just 2 switches, and the bass amp. Not much.in that. XO DAC TT and PC stay on, if I know that I will play the CD the next day then it stays on as well..

Having an integrated with onboard digital and a single amped speaker is a good simplification, just that the 3.7i's are a bit more difficult to match to an integrated.

 

Re: "Best feature", posted on December 30, 2016 at 17:48:31
E-Stat
Audiophile

Posts: 24533
Joined: May 12, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
My current ARC preamp offers input trims, but honestly I don't use them.

A far greater challenge for my system is matching disparate output levels and dynamic range found with the content, not from either the DAC or the phono stage.

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 30, 2016 at 17:54:06
russ69
Audiophile

Posts: 920
Joined: December 13, 2009
"If you're downsizing for operational simplicity's sake the best way to go might be Sanders. The Sanders Preamplifier and Magtech amp can be left on all the time without posing a massive power drain."

I've got a ton of big amps and tube amps AND good pre-amps, that is what I'm trying to get rid of. Minimalist, not the minimal number of separates and servers. I don't know if that will be a successful move but if it takes a half hour to turn my system on, it will stay off most of the time. I want a simple system that I can run all the time without powering up the local substation first.

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 30, 2016 at 22:01:15
DustyC
Audiophile

Posts: 820
Joined: November 4, 2000
Yep, same here. Went from a biamped setup with 3 amps to a integrated amp. (NADC390DD) Sure I could tweak the old setup but with this new amp I can play with polarity, bass, treble, room equalization, I added subs (big improvement!) with the crossover function.

 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on December 31, 2016 at 01:31:01
Audiophilander
Audiophile

Posts: 30023
Location: Fort Worth (D/FW Metroplex)
Joined: March 31, 2000
Sanders gear is solid state and designed to be left on all the time. There's very little power drain unless a signal is running through it (my Magtech amp is on all the time).

I wasn't recommending any tube gear as that's what you're trying to get away from. An integrated amp may be tougher to match with Maggies (they're thirsty critters), but maybe there are some good ones out there.

Cheers and best New Year's wishes,
AuPh

 

My opinion: high-end receivers, posted on January 1, 2017 at 21:12:26
DrChaos
Audiophile

Posts: 1434
Location: San Diego
Joined: July 13, 2009
I suggest Anthem MRX series or Arcam Receivers from SR250, AVR390, AVR550 & AVR850.

After it's set up, you'll have one button simplicity. But you will have the opportunity to tweak with the Anthem Room Correction (ARC) or the Dirac system integrated with the Arcam series.

And those make an enormous, and almost always positive, difference: tweaking with a major payoff.

I personally use an Anthem MRX 310 as a pre-amp into a powered sub, and also NAD M22 power amp and then Maggie 3.6s. The NAD has a 12v control signal, so with a cable from receiver into amp, the amp turns itself on from standby when the receiver is turned on, so it's as if it's still one box.

Do not underestimate the positive benefit that ARC plus a sub can do with planars like Magnapan. The depth of the bass is improved, the integration of the subwoofer fantastic even with an asymmetrical placement and no room treatment. The 40 Hz resonance of the maggie bass panels is tamed and you get most of the 'snap' of traditional dynamic speakers but with all the openness and clarity you expect. It's by far the biggest improvement after choosing good speakers.

Also don't assume experience from consumer grade correction (Audessey and others) in mass market receivers transfers to better systems like Anthem or Dirac.


 

RE: Time To Simplify, posted on January 3, 2017 at 19:26:47
johnvb
Audiophile

Posts: 403
Joined: October 26, 2011
Throw in a Chromecast Audio or Raspberry Pi with Spotify playback for non critical listening. The Chromecast jobber is smaller than the size of a hockey puck, and doesn't sound bad, even using the analog outputs.

 

@1 rule. DO NOT SELL ANYTHING.. for at least a year.. then go for it., posted on January 12, 2017 at 13:24:35
3+4=5
Audiophile

Posts: 711
Location: Midwest
Joined: December 24, 2016
The biggest mistake is to sell the stuff BEFORE you are really settled in with the new setup.

Then IF you change your mind.. you will not be crying, and crying hard.

I am to the point of having so many 'Damn I wish I hadn't sold..." that now I sell nothing for at least a few years..
I WISH I had realized that thirty years ago.
Sold things I cry about now.

 

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