Description

First of all, thanks to all for the great advice.

The best thing about this hobby is the wide range of opinions out there, I tend to follow the "speakers are the most important component" doctrine, so it was interesting to see that both Nrchy and Warrenh believe the source is the most important component.

I currently have a speaker budget of around $1000 and I'm looking at B&W DM603 S3, and Paradigm Reference Studio 60; both of these are available at local dealers. Any other suggestions? I also have access to Tannoy, Audes, Spendor.

On a slightly different note, does anybody know anything about nOrh speakers?

thanks again
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Components Toggle details

    • NAD C521
    great for the price
    • Adcom GFP-555
    with phono, 10 lbs
    bought used.
    • Audiosource Inc. Amp Two
    Good at the time
    • Paradigm Titan II
    midrange with tweeter
    • Tara Labs N/A
    bought used
    • NAD C-420
    presets

Comments 16

222222&text=yu
Owner
The titans are great, they used to be enough for my college apartment, but I own a home now and the Titans just can't fill the living room. I used to have them connected to a JVC receiver until I bought the Audiosource Amp II and ADCOM GFP-555, I saw an immidiate improvement in sound quality, even more when I bought TARA Labs interconnects.
As far as upgrading the amp to ADCOM, I think I'll stay away from it, I bought (used) the GFP-555 online at a great price, based on ADCOM reputation, and the 555's features but I notice "substantial" noise/static when I added to my system, something which doesn't happen if I send the source (CD) signal directly to the Audiosource amp.
I like NAD, I own their C521 and C-420, but don't think I would buy their products for amp/preamp.
As for the speakers, the Reference 60 and B&W DM603 S2 are very similar (spec wise and $$) but I haven't auditioned them yet.
thanks again

yus

222222&text=hi

One other question, How do you like your Titans? The reason I asked is because I have audition the PSB 2B, Klipsch, and Boston Acoustics and don't even come close to the Titans. Have you audition the Mini Monitors yet? Why did you decide on the Paradigm Reference 60 and the B&W DM603 S2? What is your personal preference in sound? Personally the 603 S2 are more of a warm, layback smooth sound as to the Reference 60 is more dynamic balance sound.
You should consider upgrading your amp first if you think that is your weakest link. NAD, Adcom, or Creek is a great choice for your Titans. Happy Listening :)

highend64

222222&text=yu
Owner
Again thanks to all.
I guess I'll look at everything next time. There was no science or much thought put into my current system so instead of calling it an upgrade I should be saying that I'm building my system.
I don't have a 30K budget but I do plan on spending about 6-8k, I'll see what I can do with that. What do you recommend?
As for Highend64, Yes, I meant Titan v.2 by Titan II. And DO NOT buy the Audiosource if you want really quality sound; sure it's a great bargain for the starter (me at the time) but if you're looking for an upgrade, stay away from it. Don't misunderstand, this is a good amp...for $250.
thanks again

yus

222222&text=hi

I'm confused. Are your speakers Titans v.2 because I think there is no such thing as Titans II, at least from my understanding. How does the amp sound? I was planning to get an Audiosource Amp One awhile back when I had a Pioneer VSX-305. I went and decided to get a Nikko NA-690 Integrated Amplifier on ebay and to this day, it performs flawlessly with my Titans.

highend64

222222&text=nr
Actually I think your system can still sound Okay with inexpensive speakers, but good speakers will never sound good with cheap (poorer quality) electronics.
I tried to be clear about it in my post, but appearantly was not successful. I have over $30,000 worth of electronics hooked up to $1500.00 speakers and people with much better speakers than mine exclaim about the quality of the sound I get.
My system isn't perfect, but it's not finished either. I have purposely waited till the end of my building process to worry about speakers. The next pair of speakers I buy will be much better than what I have. I really don't think I would have been able to appreciate a truly better speaker till I had my electronics in order first.
Buying speakers first prevents you from matching them to the system. The sound will change every time you replace a piece, so what sounds good today has no bearing on what will sound good when you are finished. Are you going to buy SETs, tubes or SS equipment? If you don't know what you're going to buy you are limited by your speakers. It is much easier to match one componant to your system than to match a whole system to one companant.
You will have to decide on your own which course to follow. Neither will be the perfect choice (if there really is one). I think it is much wiser and ultimately easier to do the speakers last.
The most important aspect though is enjoying the journey.

nrchy

222222&text=md
Well there seems to be two die hard opinions here, and I think we are both right. If your source sucks your sound will suck. If your speakers suck, your sound will suck. In an ideal world we would all have enough money to go and buy it all at once and pick and choose for synergy and be able to demo everything we want. Since we can't, I'd personally start with good sounding speakers, and from there the sound will only improve as you improve everything else.

mdomnick

222222&text=hi
Ask anyone who has been in high end audio for any length of time and they too will vote for the source (TT or CD) as the most important. The above got it right...nothing along the way will improve the signal and the sound. I have heard great front end on mediocre speakers and the sound is fantastic. The demonstrator hooked the B&W801's to some adcom stuff and it sounded terrible. Check out Laura Dearborn's book "Good Sound" as she has quotes supporting front-end most important,then pre-amp, then amp, then speakers, then cabling. If you still don't believe us, go to a dealer willing to allow you to do the mentioned demo to prove it to yourself.

hifimaniac

222222&text=ab
I have the paradigm ref 100.2 and just simply adore them. YOu could find them used in your price range but it is such a hassle to deal with shipping them. The 60s are very very good too and I would highly recommend them as well. I compared them (the 60s) side by side with the Triangle Zerius using a YBA integre DT and found the paradigms to be more full bodied which I like very much. The Triangles sound thin despite all their good press. It is tough to beat Paradigm's economy of scale. I don't know the Titans but the Reference blows away the Monitor series. The monitors (9 in this case) are just too grainy sounding in comparison, possibly from high distortion(?). The reference line is very special. I will be getting 20s for surrounds when I get to HT. Good luck. Arthur

aball

222222&text=di
The only line you mention I've heard is Paradigm. I have a pair of Studio 20s and I think they are great little speakers, especially for the money. The 100s are great as well but a bit out of your price range. I'd say the 60 is a very good speaker and probably a great bargain like the other Paradigm Studios.

dinguses

222222&text=yu
Owner
System edited:

yus

222222&text=yu
Owner
System edited:

yus

222222&text=yu
Owner
First of all, thanks to all for the great advice.
The best thing about this hobby is the wide range of opinions out there, I tend to follow the "speakers are the most important component" doctrine, so it was interesting to see that both Nrchy and Warrenh believe the source is the most important component.
I currently have a speaker budget of around $1000 and I'm looking at B&W DM603 S3, and Paradigm Reference Studio 60; both of these are available at local dealers. Any other suggestions? I also have access to Tannoy, Audes, Spendor.
On a slightly different note, does anybody know anything about nOrh speakers?
thanks again

yus

222222&text=di
Well, Nrchy and I are on opposite sides of that fence! I'm a big believer that speakers ARE the most important part of the chain. You can have a Linn CD12, but if you're speakers can't articulate the great sound coming from the source, what good is the source? Also, your speaker will have the greatest say in what kind of sound you have. Do you want big bloomy base? Get a big fat speaker with a big woofer. Want really tight base with maybe not quite 20 Hz extension? Then get something with a couple of 8" woofers. Do you want a bright up front or laid back sound? Those come from the speakers most, in my opinion.

I say go to a dealer, pick out some speakers you think you might like, hook 'em up to the best equipment they got, and then pick your speaker because you know how it can best sound with good equipment, that way you get a speaker that fits what you want it to sound like. Then your source is #2, then preamp or power amp, and you go from there looking for that sound that you liked so much to start with. That's my opinion, at least!

dinguses

128x128
Although I did it completely backwards, it's sound advice; to go with the source first. Do your CDP homework. You'll (depending on your $) find some great stuff out there, new or used that will lay waste to your Nad. Hey, it's just the beginning. Have a ball.

warrenh

222222&text=nr
Always start with your source. You will never replace at the back end (speakers) what you miss on the front end (CD player,or preferably TT.) Get everything you can from CDs or LPs and then work back towards the speaker. You will always notice the biggest improvement this way.
All things being equal your speakers are the least important componant in the system. Don't misunderstand me as saying speakers are not important, but they should not have as big a priority placed on them as many people indicate. Some people believe you should spend 50% of the total cost of your system on speakers. This is absurd. The same money spent on front-end equipment will reap much greater rewards.
This issue is one of the few times I agree with the founder of Linn products. Start at the source and work back. You will be happiest in the long run using this guideline.
I hope I haven't messed you up too much!

nrchy

222222&text=md
Start with the speakers. Don't know your price range, but as nice as the Titans are for surrounds, they do leave a lot to be desired as mains. Lots of options out there for speakers, so try as many as you can before you buy. Paradigm's Ref series is a nice speaker.

mdomnick

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