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Making the leap into audiophile hifi: 2014 edition

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by zortation, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    It appears as though my old Teac CD player is almost kaput and I'm looking for something to replace it, actually an entire new system would be the goal here. Preferably a DAC / integrated or power / pre setup. NAS storage will be where I keep my music (FLAC or Windows lossless depending on which format actually works!)

    After a cursory check into some old threads on the topic, I have discovered that not since 2009 has anyone posted a thread on such a topic, so I feel that now is the time :)

    Also, hifi buzzwords change almost on a monthly basis so there's that factor (the technology is a different story?). Brands that intrigue me (but I haven't demoed) are Rega, Musical Fidelity, Audiolab, in other words, brands that are known for high quality sound with neutral-to-warm (or not?) character. TEAC is also still in the running as a possible upgrade too.

    Loudspeakers are a pair of KEF Q100 bookshelfs, lovely sound but they do suck power, rated at 100W RMS @ 8ohm

    Any thoughts, experiences with the above gear or other possible suggestions?

  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    You should start with some high end power cords. They're the foundation of all your sound.
  3. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    You mean like Monster Cable and their Ameri-quad winding technology?


  4. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Get a portable, digital music player that can handle all of the common file formats and very high bit rates.

    I have the Fiio X-3, but there are plenty of other choices:

    My recommendation for your home sound system is to get a 3 way active crossover and tri-amp lows, mids and highs.
  5. Nope, you're to far behind, The way to go is: http://www.shunyata.com/
  6. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    What's your budget?
  7. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Budget is $2000-ish

    (a very small "ish" btw)
  8. xk49w

    xk49w Supporting Member

    Are you changing loudspeakers?
  9. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    If you don't want to spend a fortune on a stereo amp or cd player and get excellent sound.....only one word ......Marantz.
  10. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Teac isn't in the same class as those others. They were known for their tape recorder technology and honestly, their cassette decks weren't as good as their open reel machines although their Tascam line makes good stuff.

    For not a huge amount of money, one of the better Denon or Marantz pieces would definitely be an improvement.

    If you like your speakers, keep them. How loud does it need to play? Remember, when the sound quality is better, you'll hear detail that's not audible through lesser gear, so extreme SPL isn't necessary. Also, when you do turn it up, it still holds up, unlike lower quality equipment.

    You could get a Marantz PM 8005 and CD5004 or CD6005 for about $1500 without much problem and I guarantee it will sound far better than just about anything in its price range. Unless you want to use a DVD or BluRay player for everything, a higher quality CD player is definitely better if sound quality is the real goal and you want to have a nice 2 channel system that's not terribly expensive. Good speakers are good speakers, regardless of their sensitivity and KEF are good speakers.
  11. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Oh, yeah- you'll need one of these-


    Read the review- don't look at the item and think it's an endorsement. Audioholics began because the founder was tired of the BS surrounding so many manufacturer claims of performance, when the claims were impossible to substantiate. He's a communications engineer with a long career and tens of thousands of dollars worth of test equipment to do real testing, not just some "it makes me giggle like a schoolgirl when I hear it" crap.
  12. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Marantz is definitely a possibility as I'm still very attached to tone controls...not sure why many brands eschew them unless it's a cost saving measure disguised as some technobabble about "signal purity" or some such nonsense. :oops:

    As for TEAC, they make good mid level gear, but you have to look at the reference series and up...they really are great sounding.
  13. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    It's not "technobabble'. Every component or section between the input and output affects the sound, so they leave the controls out as a way to avoid degrading the sound. Some will have a "Source Direct" switch and in the case of my Sony ES integrated amp, all of the controls are passive, so they still work if the power is turned off. The only section of mine that stops working is the Video in/out and it doesn't have much of that because it's old enough that component and HDMI video signals weren't used on consumer gear.

    Which leads me to another few hundred questions- why not go with a good/great piece of used gear? I used to be a big fan of Sony's equipment, but they lost me when they started to water down the quality in the early 2000s. The ES series is definitely a step up for them, but I don't think it would be able to compete with the new Marantz gear.

    If you're planning to use a NAS, how will the signal get to the preamp section of whatever you end up using?
  14. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    How will he stay under $2K with this brand?
  15. I was merely pointing out that TEAC wasn't a "mid-level" company as was earlier posted.

    I did however pick up my (older) Esoteric CD player for less than $100...
  16. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    +1. Teac was the "go to" brand in the 70's and 80's for multi track open reel machines. Many of the first home recording studios employed them. Since reel to reel tape decks are now obsolete, Teac has had a difficult time positioning it's other products in the audio market place. If I was looking for a new stereo amp and had a strict budget I would take a close look at Denon.

    Sometime around 1980. My Teac 3340s 4 track tape deck
  17. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    TEAC, as a brand, is mid-level and I seriously doubt the two have many similarities since TEAC is the importer for Esoteric. However, being part of the same corporation with Integra and Onkyo too, there's usually some amount of technological exchange between them. No insult intended.
  18. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    I had a Teac A3300 for quite a while. Sold it before 1988 and saw the buyer about 5 years ago- still has it.
  19. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON