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About Ajax

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  1. One of my hobbies (personality?) is to strive for the best possible deal I can get no matter what the situation. e.g. Living in Australia it is very time consuming, exhausting and expensive to travel anywhere. A few years ago my son did a ski racing course just outside Turin (Italy). It is 24 hours from Sydney to Milan (9 + 3 + 12). I'm a big fellow (6'2" and 220lbs) so I would spend a lot of time checking out flights, plane types and availability to get the bet possible deal AND comfort. The best I found was to catch a fight out of Sydney so that we could make the 1am flight out of Asia (any asian carrier via Bangkok, Singapore, HK, KL etc) as at that time of the morning the Asia - Europe flights were never full. We would get on this second flight last so that we could see where the empty seats were. Often I would get 4 seats across in the middle at the back and my son (then a small 13) would get 3 on the side. I would take 2 sleeping pills (he got a half) and after 8 hour sleep on a 12 hour flight arrive in good shape. Business class was about US$5k return and economy US$1k, however, as long as we got a sleep that was all that mattered to us. With Audio I am always on the look out for such deals, which usually come in the shape of used gear, but not always. The opposite to bling has to be the Benchmark Media range. Their engineering is superb, however, their appearance is at best bland. In stereophile over the years JA has raved about the measurements of their range of DACs and in particular the performance of their AHB2 power amp. In a "normal" domestic situation a DAC 3 / AHB2 combination would drive just about any speaker to say 90db with sonic excellence. That front end would only cost you $5k new ($8k if you needed more power and bridged 2 x AHB2s). If you shop around you can get a very similar "sound quality" by purchasing the older DAC2 with the AHB2 (used) for about US$4k. Just add source and speakers. Using the DAC3 with its remote (as a pre amp) you could hide these two pieces of gear out of site if you were hung up on appearances. I know US$10k is a lot of money to some people for a hifi system, however, I still have my beloved 10 year old Benchmark DAC 1 as part of my home office system. I just turn it on each day and it does it's thing, unbelievably reliable and still sounds great. That's value. It acts as a preamp for a Nord Hypex Ncore power amp driving a pair of ATC SCM 19 speakers. There are plenty of other examples of high quality manufacturers available at "reasonable" prices to those who have the knowledge. Knowledge is the difference between paying silly money, $50K +, and reasonable money <$10k. My 3 cents. All the best Ajax
  2. Hi Mike, Lots of ways to skin this cat as you have seen from the responses to date. We have the Yamaha NX N500s in our bedroom attached to the TV and they work well and will do everything you ask plus more. You can pick them up for around $350 second hand. If you are looking for better sound quality, while still retaining simplicity, I would look at a Pre/ DAC + Active Speakers. You mentioned stretching to $2,200, which will be sufficient for great sound, especially if you are happy to buy used. Have a look at the SMSL and Topping DAC range from China on Amazon for the front end $200 - $500 and combine with Active (not powered) speakers. Just google but I can recommend the Adam A7X for $1,000 second hand plus a sub. Alternatively a SMSL 8a DAC $200 with a $500 second hand power amp and the excellent KEF L50s. $1,500 new and 1,000 second hand. There are so many combinations it can get confusing.
  3. Hi Kimo, I get that. In my humble opinion the best bang for your buck for playing digital audio is a very high quality front end (Pre / DAC) such that Benchmark Media produce combined with either active speakers or a power amp + passive speakers. I have such systems in my office and my son’s home recording studio. The Devialet is in my living room and I chose it because it sounds incredibly good, is WAF friendly and the active crossover allows me to easily blend in 2 x stereo subs with my ATC SCM 19 speakers.
  4. Hi Kimo, I’m wondering what you don’t like about Devialet gear. My Devialet 200 is my favourite piece of equipment for both sound quality and features - internal DAC, Pre/Power Amps, active crossover with both frequency and time delay, upgradeable firmware, streamer, flexible inputs... We all like what we like so not challenging your decision just interested in your reasoning.
  5. Ralf sometimes trying to be funny doesn’t always work, this is one such occasion. Either contribute or find another thread
  6. Hi Chris, Envy is pretty much a human condition, so is the need to be noticed, liked, respected etc. Anyone of these “needs” will trigger a judgemental response, which is what you are referring to. Putting down others is pretty much a sign of insecurity and I’ve been on the receiving end and much to my shame have also dished it out. Maybe your speaker salesman couldn’t afford a pair of decent speakers, or simply didn’t feel good about himself, and saw a young kid as easy fodder for an ego boost. As my wife often says to me “you know he/she is a twit so why take it on board”. Your article obviously refers to audiophiles but believe me those that “need” to put down/ judge others are prevalent throughout western society. When I was in my mid thirties I went broke and through good luck and hard work I reserected my situation by creating a small business which I successfully sold. A number of people close to me, who should be happy for me, are actually very judgemental about how I now spend my time. No thanks when I help them and no well done etc. My success has made them feel inadequate and jealous. Pisses me off but that’s the reality, some people can’t abide others having success if they aren’t. So the “music lover” puts down the gear lover as it gives him a (false) pedestal to sit on and look down., and visa versus. My own audio goals are finding new music that I enjoy, and playing it on the best system I can find for the least possible bucks. In Australia we call people who put down others arseholes, we are very technical with our descriptions.
  7. Hi Activist 38, Welcome to Audiophile Style, Pls don’t take on board your less than stellar welcome. I for one am interested in what you have to offer in the way of new equipment. Thanks for making the effort to share your experiences.
  8. I have been purchasing high quality HiFi since the late 70’s. My goal has always been “to buy the best sound for the least amount”. I am fortunate that I do not have Teresa’s financial restrictions but I still get a lot of pleasure finding bargains. Sometimes they are new items like my office system, Benchmark DAC + Active Adam A7 Monitors, I purchase new 10 years ago that did (& does) sound amazing for only US$2.5K. I added a $200 Acoustic Research sub I found in a pawn shop that sits under my desk. A simple and space saving system that connects via USB to my laptop. Several years ago I purchased a demo Devialet Ensemble (Devialet 200 with ATOHM G1 speakers) for just $US7K. Source is an Auralic Mini with Tidal sub and a SSD drive installed , which is located in my living room. I then added 2 x SVS SB2000 subs. Under $US10k for serious sound and excellent features. I purchased a Marantz PM5005 integrated amp with a surprisingly good bolt in DAC + Wharfdale bookshelf speakers + 2 subs second hand for $1000 for another system. Anyone can throw money at HiFi gear and have a great system but IMO the art (and fun) is to use your knowledge gained from reviews and forums such as this to get the best possible bang for your buck.
  9. Hi Imitche and SandyK, If you judge a company's reliability and integrity by its size and age then you are being very silly and very naive. We have just completed a Royal Commission in Australia (similar purpose as a senate committee hearing but nastier) into our four largest banks, all at least a hundred years old and each with 10's of thousands of employees. The result was a scathing rebuke of their practices with a chairman and a CEO, plus a cast of middle managers, being forced to resign - reason: ripping off their customers. Also have a think about the integrity of the cigarette companies and their research while you are at - "smoking isn't addictive"? In my experience small people work in large companies and big people work in small companies. Size has nothing to do with expertise or integrity. Come on don't be a light weight - think for yourself.
  10. Another vote for Devialet - had mine for over 2 years and love the sound and features equally. Available used on Canuck audio mart for as little as US$3-$4k. If you are using a sub it has a built in crossover that is excellent, together with the features mentioned previously - excellent DAC, pre amp, power amp, upgradable firmware, SAM, re-configuration of outputs Serious kit at a very reasonable price if you are happy with used.
  11. Thanks for the price analysis, Paul. Your reasoning makes good sense. pls post your listening impressions in due course
  12. Hi Paul, In the late 90's, In a moment of madness, I traded my Linn Sondek LP12 with Ittok arm for a pair of, as it turned out, very ordinary speakers. Egged on by my son I have recently decided to purchase a new turntable and if it is any consolation, after many months of research, I have ended up exactly where you are - wondering whether the cost differential between the Rega P3 & P6 is worth it vs buying a used LP12. I may very well end up taking your wife's advise! All the best, Ajax
  13. Hi Chris, I had the speakers installed by a professional car audio outfit in Sydney called Metro-sound and I'm not exactly sure how they connected the sub. There were, however, 2 off 4 x 6 "subs" under the front seat so I am guessing the active sub was connected via them using speaker level connections, but not really sure. Sorry I could not be more help. I don't think you are going to get line out from the Subaru's head unit so I suggest simply upgrading the speakers with high quality efficient speakers and then using your iPhone as the source via the AUX in. The improvement in sound quality I achieved doing this was substantial and after 3 years I'm still very happy with the sound. At worst you will not be committing money that will be wasted as you will need to upgrade the speakers which ever way you go.
  14. Below is my first "real" hifi purchased in 1984 from Graham's hifi in London. Although a very simple system it cost me a years salary at a time when I was struggling to feed myself. However, it provided me with some 15 years of unbridled joy in various incarnations including adding a Linn LK1 & LK11 Pre-Power Amp and Tannoy 15" Ardent Speakers. The Linn LP12 turntable was the consistent thread throughout until I stupidly traded it for a pair of very ordinary speakers in the early 2000s. - Linn LP12 turntable with Ittok arm - Naim Nait Amp - Linn Kann Speakers ... combined later with a Tannoy Sub Just superb.
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