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  1. #1
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    Bookshelf/Standmounts rated @ 45Hz or below

    I was thinking about the logjam of bookshelf speakers rated between 60Hz and 50Hz and there are just too many of them...it's like the battle for 50Hz supremacy. So, I complied a list of speaker models whose specs are stated at 45hz or below. If I've left one out then please by all means add your find to the list.

    Bookshelf Speakers rated at or below 45Hz:

    PSB Image B6 (45Hz?) Depends on the degree of axis
    http://www.psbspeakers.com/products/...e-B6-Bookshelf

    Kef IQ30 (45Hz)
    http://www.kef.com/GB/Loudspeakers/Q-Series/IQ30

    Mordaunt-Short Aviano 2 (45Hz)
    http://www.mordauntshort.com/ranges....&Title=+Aviano

    Monitor Audio Silver RX1 (45Hz)
    http://www.monitoraudiousa.com/produ.../specification

    Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (42Hz)
    http://www.monitoraudiousa.com/produ.../specification

    Canton GLE 402 (42Hz)
    http://www.accessories4less.com/index.php?page=seek&id[m]=&id[q]=GLE&x=0&y=0

    Monitor Audio Silver RX2 (40Hz)
    http://www.monitoraudiousa.com/produ.../specification

    Canton GLE 403 (38Hz)
    http://www.accessories4less.com/index.php?page=seek&id[m]=&id[q]=GLE&x=0&y=0

  2. #2
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    ProAc Response D1 at 38 Hz.

    Usher BE-718 at 42 Hz.

    Rogers DS30 at 45 Hz.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Noob!

    I found a couple of more...

    Reference 3A MM de Capo i (42Hz)
    http://www.reference3a.com/mmdecapo.htm

    PMC TB2i (42Hz)
    http://www.pmc-speakers.com/product....171&&show=spec

    Nice find on the Roger's speaker. I didn't know they did anything other than the 3/5.

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  5. #5
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    There are plenty of bookshelves rated at 45 and under. If you're really trying to compile them all you'll be at it day and night.

  6. #6
    RGA
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    First I would not trust half the numbers if you are looking to get real world results at reasonably good levels. I have heard plenty of standmounts rated at 40hz that don't remotely provide "feeling" bass in an hit you in the chest sort of way. And there are some that do a pretty good job of that but then sound boxy or "slow" and smudges the mid range.

    Standmounts that go below 40hz and actually have deep bass and don't sound boxy and are very easy to drive.

    Audio Note J - 93 dB/m 25 Hz at -6 dB http://www.audionote.co.uk/products/.../an-j_01.shtml

    Audio Note E - 18 Hz to 23 kHz at -6 dB http://www.audionote.co.uk/products/.../an-e_01.shtml

    Trenner and Freidl RA Box - not speced but they go well below 40hz http://www.trenner-friedl.com/index2...=ra&sprache=en

  7. #7
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    The demensions of those make them more of a floorstander than your typical 'bookshelf' speaker

  8. #8
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    If you can find a used pair of Dynaudio Audience 52s, they hit 45.

  9. #9
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    My 686's hit 40Hz in-room if you're lucky.

  10. #10
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    What size rooms are we talking about? I do not believe there are too many bookshelf speakers that can play anywhere near 45hz as they can at 1K.

    How loud in respect to other frequencies can this bookshelf play at 45hz?

    I have learned first hand you can never trust the frequency response spec from a speaker manufacturer.
    Sir Terrence

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  11. #11
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    The demensions of those make them more of a floorstander than your typical 'bookshelf' speaker
    Yes the Audio Note's are far bigger than your average standmount. But they are not "deep" and I also failed to point out that in order to reach those numbers the speakers need to put very hard into corners.

    You just don't get away from the laws of physics. High excursion designs tend to sound slow to me. I heard an exceptional bass strong Dynaudio Standmount at CES but it also had serious issue in the midrange and overpowered the female vocals to the point where to my ear it reminded me of "bass doubling" not sure if that term is still used but it just sounded so overblown. Though many listeners seem to be highly impressed with the bass. But this is the thing with short auditions at such events that the frequency extremes are noticed more when they come from small boxes. I start my listening in the vocals and don't want the bass and box to "cover over" those vocals.

    The bottom line is that standmounts all have limitations - and IMO they are bass, dynamics, volume capability which leads to lessening of scale, and the ability to "breathe" the presentation into the room (pressurize the room such that there is a sense of layers front to back). Speakers often touted like the Totem Model 1, Dyn 1.4, PMC TB1, Paradigm S2, Gershman Acoustics X1, B&W 705 or 805, just don't do any of this stuff. The first thing I want to do listening to them is add a sub, sit further away to get some integration, put the volume up because they sound confined and small, and then finally ask to hear their bigger better less compromised sounding brothers.

    My preference is "big speaker sound" because they tend to have a breathy effortless quality with big macrodynamics and higher sensitivity which tend to have a certain "faster" sound (which likely means better transients in reality because they don't need the long throw drivers).

    If I left Audio Note I can tell you right now it would be for a speaker considerably larger. It's just that when you put them in a corner you essentially have the advantage of a two way with your entire wall serving as a speaker cabinet.

    I would also make a note that it always puzzles me why people buy small standmount speakers that are designed to be free standing. You have a speaker that needs to be placed 3 feet into the room and three feet or more from any side walls. The room to the side and behind the speaker usually has to go unused. So the space saving standmount is taking up significant space in the room. My bigger fatter standmount placed hard in corners leaves a lot more living room. So while the speaker itself is considerably larger than a Totem Model One it will take up far less space in an actual room - and they have far fewer compromises than any of the small standmounts out there.

  12. #12
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Sierra 1 by Ascend Acoustics offer very good sound for the size and price.
    http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...SRM1/srm1.html

    I believe almost all bookshelf with 6"+ woofer reach mid 40Hz, but it all depends on how they are measured... Are you looking to purchase a new pair?

  13. #13
    Feel the Tempo eisforelectronic's Avatar
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    Audio Physic Avanti IV w/upgraded mids and crossover
    Emotiva UMC-1
    Emotiva XPA-3
    Peachtree Audio iNova
    Rega Brio-R
    Rega RP-1
    Sony PS3
    BAT VK-D5se
    Totem Acoustic Dreamcatchers

  14. #14
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    Guys, thanks for all of your input!

    I've owned a pair of Kef iQ3's and found the tweeter to be too bright for my tastes. Also, the KEF tweeter, by design, is placed in the center of the woofer so there is also the
    irritating sound of the tweeter vibrating against the woofer when the woofer gets to moving hard. I got rid of those speakers after about 90-days (last Year). However, I found the low end to be a very enjoyable listen as the bass paced correctly IMO.

    I currently have the Mordaunt-Short Aviano 2's and enjoy the tonality of the speakers quite a bit. I find the bass deep and controlled but it lags behind the rest of the music..unless...I really put on a reference CD and have the MS2 connected to a system that normally would not consider a $450.00 speaker as a main. I am currently using the AV2's in my second sytem, Rega Brio 3, Musical Fidelty XRAY CDP, Musical Fidelty Triple X Power Supply, and Blue Marble Audio speaker wire/IC's/Digital Coax. Power cords are the normal stock variety supplied by each manufacturer.

    My Primary system consists of a modded Belles Soloist Amp 65 WPC and Belles Soloist Pre-Amp, Stello CDT100 Transport, Stello DA100 (DAC),and Blue Marble Audio speaker wire/IC's/Digital Coax, and Mordaunt-Short Avant 902i bookshelf speakers. Today, I just got my Wire World power cords, Aurora, and I got 4 of em. Once I break in the power cords I'll try the AV2's again on this system and give them another shot.

    I do enjoy bookshelf/standmounts and have had my ear set on getting a pair of Reference 3A De Capo i. But that's about $3K and I know R3A is researching/developing a BE tweeter to replace their current tweeter so I don't want to rush into a new purchase just yet. Also, $3K is a big chunk of change for me so I was pondering another manufactures standmount rated @45Hz or lower.. or if floor standers in the $2K-$3K price range might be the better/smater purchase...providing I like the musicality of the speaker. What caught my eye recently was the Almarro floorstanders. Anyway, for now, I simply
    want to try to see if I can improve on the AV2's but wanna know what else is out there and value your opinions and suggestions.

    Thanks for your input. I do appreciate your sound advice.

    LeRoy






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  15. #15
    RGA
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    LeRoy

    The other thing you might want to "try" and look for is higher efficient speakers simply because in general they sound more dynamic and give you a far freer choice of amplifiers to choose from down the road. The Reference 3a you were considering would give you most of that. Though it does have some issues in the midband that some people take issue with. Another poster on a forum owned then and moved on to a Harbeth - I heard a couple of different Harbeth speakers and they sound very nice - some of them are fairly efficient despite some of the specs on them. Not to knock the Reference 3a. I almost bought a pair myself but decided to buy the Audio Note K/Spe as at the time it was less expensive (now it is about the same price). But Harbeth has a pleasing sound - all day listenable and a little more straightforward sounding than the De Capo. The De Capo has a big bold warm sound but strangely I preferred the treble in the first series over the (i) version.

    But don't get too caught up on standmount - once you buy a stand you have a floorstander if you think about it. It still will take up the same space. The reason people buy standmounts is price and the fact that many floorstanders in a speaker line-up use cheap parts with more resonances that impact the sound.

    Unfortunately, IMO and IME it is the lesser known speaker makers that really are making the better sounding speakers which runs counter to logic in many ways because you would think that the big makers would have a cost advantage but they also have market share and massive overheads to cover. While quite often some of the best designers who worked for those big guys or saw it early decided to establish themselves and make their own passions rather than selling fashion well marketed run by the bean counters stuff. Daniel Dehay of Reference 3a was such a guy.

    Take Sonist. Who the hell are they? Dumpy little exhibit at CES - no flashy guys in suits giving you a big spiel as to why they're so wonderful.

    By the time you buy stands for the De Capo the price is getting way up there. The Sonist Recital 3 is really very nice to listen to. It wasn't perfect but I have news - nothing is. If you can figure out a way to get an audition you may like them a whole lot. It's essentially your desired 2 way but with a cabinet that can give you a fuller range sound while also being very easy to drive. And it's one of the few ribbons that don't have that annoying treble hissy presence.

    It was the best budget speaker I heard at CES. http://www.sonist.com/SONIST_REVIEWS_SHOWREPORTS.html

    I point them out since you seem willing to look at lesser known brands already in Almarro and Reference 3a.
    Last edited by RGA; 05-17-2010 at 09:35 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    LeRoy

    The other thing you might want to "try" and look for is higher efficient speakers simply because in general they sound more dynamic and give you a far freer choice of amplifiers to choose from down the road. The Reference 3a you were considering would give you most of that. Though it does have some issues in the midband that some people take issue with. Another poster on a forum owned then and moved on to a Harbeth - I heard a couple of different Harbeth speakers and they sound very nice - some of them are fairly efficient despite some of the specs on them. Not to knock the Reference 3a. I almost bought a pair myself but decided to buy the Audio Note K/Spe as at the time it was less expensive (now it is about the same price). But Harbeth has a pleasing sound - all day listenable and a little more straightforward sounding than the De Capo. The De Capo has a big bold warm sound but strangely I preferred the treble in the first series over the (i) version.

    But don't get too caught up on standmount - once you buy a stand you have a floorstander if you think about it. It still will take up the same space. The reason people buy standmounts is price and the fact that many floorstanders in a speaker line-up use cheap parts with more resonances that impact the sound.

    Unfortunately, IMO and IME it is the lesser known speaker makers that really are making the better sounding speakers which runs counter to logic in many ways because you would think that the big makers would have a cost advantage but they also have market share and massive overheads to cover. While quite often some of the best designers who worked for those big guys or saw it early decided to establish themselves and make their own passions rather than selling fashion well marketed run by the bean counters stuff. Daniel Dehay of Reference 3a was such a guy.

    Take Sonist. Who the hell are they? Dumpy little exhibit at CES - no flashy guys in suits giving you a big spiel as to why they're so wonderful.

    By the time you buy stands for the De Capo the price is getting way up there. The Sonist Recital 3 is really very nice to listen to. It wasn't perfect but I have news - nothing is. If you can figure out a way to get an audition you may like them a whole lot. It's essentially your desired 2 way but with a cabinet that can give you a fuller range sound while also being very easy to drive. And it's one of the few ribbons that don't have that annoying treble hissy presence.

    It was the best budget speaker I heard at CES. http://www.sonist.com/SONIST_REVIEWS_SHOWREPORTS.html

    I point them out since you seem willing to look at lesser known brands already in Almarro and Reference 3a.
    RGA, thank you so much for the in-depth reply. I am keeping an open mind as to what to consider as the next speaker purchase. I will look into the Harbeth and Sonist as you have pointed them out as a worthwhile consideration. Hopefully, I can find a dealer somewhere in Texas that carries the line so I can audition them.

    I agree that speaker efficiency is vital to dynamic sound and I am looking for an efficient speaker since my Belles 65 WPC is not exactly a powerful amp. Nevertheless, I do enjoy the musicality I get from the Belles.

    Thanks again for pointing out the Harbeth, Sonist, and Audio Note products. Do you have any suggestions for floorstanders?

    LeRoy

  17. #17
    RGA
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    Recommending speakers is more difficult because you have to live with them. But Acoustic Zen might be another to add to the list for floorstanders that are easy to drive. In the end I would suggest trying to attend Dagogo's California Audio Show at the end of July. It's the only show I know of that is open to the public and not just catering to dealers and media. And it's also inexpensive to attend. There are so many brands out there and things to consider. My preference is for high efficiency and balanced sound that will play all music well.

    The bigger floorstanders like the 3a tend to sound more full range and bigger than the smaller ones that seem to compress or sound sluggish. The spec sheets are less important than real world results. In fact for the most part I would ignore them. Even sensitivity is somewhat overrated.

    http://www.caaudioshow.com/

  18. #18
    Forum Regular YBArcam's Avatar
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    Apologies in advance for the long post.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    You just don't get away from the laws of physics. High excursion designs tend to sound slow to me. I heard an exceptional bass strong Dynaudio Standmount at CES but it also had serious issue in the midrange and overpowered the female vocals to the point where to my ear it reminded me of "bass doubling" not sure if that term is still used but it just sounded so overblown. Though many listeners seem to be highly impressed with the bass. But this is the thing with short auditions at such events that the frequency extremes are noticed more when they come from small boxes. I start my listening in the vocals and don't want the bass and box to "cover over" those vocals.

    The bottom line is that standmounts all have limitations - and IMO they are bass, dynamics, volume capability which leads to lessening of scale, and the ability to "breathe" the presentation into the room (pressurize the room such that there is a sense of layers front to back). Speakers often touted like the Totem Model 1, Dyn 1.4, PMC TB1, Paradigm S2, Gershman Acoustics X1, B&W 705 or 805, just don't do any of this stuff. The first thing I want to do listening to them is add a sub, sit further away to get some integration, put the volume up because they sound confined and small, and then finally ask to hear their bigger better less compromised sounding brothers.

    My preference is "big speaker sound" because they tend to have a breathy effortless quality with big macrodynamics and higher sensitivity which tend to have a certain "faster" sound (which likely means better transients in reality because they don't need the long throw drivers).
    I, like LeRoy, am considering my speaker options and am focused on some of the things he is focused on (deep bass from a bookshelf model), but also some of what you say, RGA. At first I was focused on the frequency response and what the low end figure was, but it wasn't long ago that in my quest for a more full bodied, big scale sound I started focusing on driver size and also cabinet size. The problem is that I don't know if it's just my speakers, or whether it is also my amp, that has lead to my system sometimes sounding thin and sterile. I suspect it's a bit of both.

    Unlike RGA wanting to add a sub when listening to a monitor, I've tended to go in the other direction. I've always found that my system sounds better sans subwoofer, due to integration difficulties. It's not for lack of trying. I even upgraded my sub in an attempt to get a more musical performance. But whenever I feel it's dialed in as good as it can be, I try the system without it and it always sounds significantly better. Anyways, I've got room restrictions, as we all do, and cannot move the sub around as much as I'd like.

    But, the room isn't big. I think a bookshelf design is actually ideal, at most a small floorstander. I had one for a bit (Monitor Audio RS5, liked it except the highs, which were way too prominent). I find a floorstander is harder to place though. The RS5 was not tall enough for the tweeter to be at ear level. The speakers had to be on some stands maybe four or five inches high. I made a pair of pretty rough stands myself, and would have bought something nicer had I kept the speakers. So I much prefer bookshelf speakers on stands, and the stand I use now are Reference 3a stands, which are height adjustable. Thus, I can accommodate many different speakers with tweeters at different levels. Very handy.

    I don't sit that far away from my speakers (and can't even if I wanted to). The Quads actually do a pretty impressive job with bass and dynamics. But scale is lacking, that sense of breathing the presentation into the room, as RGA put it. Everything sounds pretty nice when you listen to the various parts of the music, the Quads seem to do almost everything well, but at the end of the day the overall sound is just a bit too safe, not alive, etc.

    Anyways, I figure a big driver, big box design might be the answer. I'm considering the Monitor Audio RX2, and Dynaudio DM 2/8. The 2/10 is also out there, but I figure that the 8 would suffice. 8 inch drivers are a pretty big step up from 6.5. The cabinet volume is also much larger to accommodate the larger woofer. But I notice that the MA and Dyn speakers are still a pretty conventional shape. Not like Audio Note or Tannoy, or the K-horn, which tend to be relatively wide rather than deep. Is one better than the other? I'm not sure.

    Another deep bass speaker I'm considering is the ProAc Studio 110. 6.5" driver, normal sized box as far as I can tell. 33Hz is the claimed low end! That's pretty amazing if true. ProAc seems to be very well regarded (then again just about everything gets great reviews). I'm also considering the Dynaudio Excite X16 and PMC TB2i. Heard the latter before and found them to be magnificient. Again, this is only 6.5", although the cabinet is relative large compared to other similar speakers, and it has a transmission line design for the low end. A bit more pricey than the others might be an issue with the PMC.

    I used to run a pair of Tannoy Mercury F2. Just an entry level two-way with a 6.5" driver. They brought a lot of enjoyment and did a sense of scale really well in my room. So I think it's more than just having a really big speaker - a relatively small one can do the job too, provided the room isn't large and the listening spot isn't too far back. And I think the amp has a lot of say in the matter too. I went from a cheap (but nice for what it was) Denon minisystem that powered the F2 and was able to try out an Audiolab 8000S for a couple of days. It made a huge difference. More power and more peak current, which was able to improve dynamics and control over the driver by a very significant amount. For the first time I could really feel the drums. Deep, full, and super tight - in a way I hadn't really heard before. I think someone at another forum mentioned this is down to the way Audiolab deals with load damping. Anyhow, I opted to move to other amps in more or less the same price range, assuming the added power over the Denon would be realized there too and I'd get a similar kind of sound. However, this did not happen. Needless to say, I'm also currently considering a change to Audiolab.
    Last edited by YBArcam; 05-19-2010 at 08:41 AM.
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  19. #19
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    Hello YBArcam

    Hey, nice to know somebody else out there in AR land is also considering the deep bookshelf option. Good deal that you've already been out to audition a variety of the bookshelves you are interested in.

    Have you experimented with cables, speaker wire, IC's yet to see if a change in your cables will give you the added depth you are looking for? Replacing my Chord Carnival Silver Screen speaker wire, and Chord Cobra 3 interconnects was the right thing for me to do. It wasn't cheap but the results have been stellar with the BMA connectivity.

    After having thought about it for the last few days....I think I will get a pair of the Canton 403's like Frenchmon has. My reasoning is even if I get a $3K bookshelf that is musical I know I am still going to be left wondering what if.....so, I'd rather go inexpensive on the Canton's and put the bigger money into a small or medium floor stander.

    Good luck on your quest,,,,, and thanks to all who posted in this thread!

    LeRoy

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    Just a side note about the AZ's. Some of them have lower average impedance ratings than 8 ohms, but they tend to have very flat impedance curves. Being easy to drive for inexpensive amps is one of Robert Lee's design goals. Also, while they may stretch the definition of "bookshelf" the Adagio Jr's reach down to 35hz.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Recommending speakers is more difficult because you have to live with them. But Acoustic Zen might be another to add to the list for floorstanders that are easy to drive. In the end I would suggest trying to attend Dagogo's California Audio Show at the end of July. It's the only show I know of that is open to the public and not just catering to dealers and media. And it's also inexpensive to attend. There are so many brands out there and things to consider. My preference is for high efficiency and balanced sound that will play all music well.

    The bigger floorstanders like the 3a tend to sound more full range and bigger than the smaller ones that seem to compress or sound sluggish. The spec sheets are less important than real world results. In fact for the most part I would ignore them. Even sensitivity is somewhat overrated.

    http://www.caaudioshow.com/
    Tim Evans
    East Street Audio
    Onix, Melody, & ACA

  21. #21
    Forum Regular YBArcam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeRoy
    Hey, nice to know somebody else out there in AR land is also considering the deep bookshelf option. Good deal that you've already been out to audition a variety of the bookshelves you are interested in.

    Have you experimented with cables, speaker wire, IC's yet to see if a change in your cables will give you the added depth you are looking for? Replacing my Chord Carnival Silver Screen speaker wire, and Chord Cobra 3 interconnects was the right thing for me to do. It wasn't cheap but the results have been stellar with the BMA connectivity.

    After having thought about it for the last few days....I think I will get a pair of the Canton 403's like Frenchmon has. My reasoning is even if I get a $3K bookshelf that is musical I know I am still going to be left wondering what if.....so, I'd rather go inexpensive on the Canton's and put the bigger money into a small or medium floor stander.

    Good luck on your quest,,,,, and thanks to all who posted in this thread!

    LeRoy
    I haven't actually auditioned anything yet, LeRoy. I'll be auditioning new electronics and probably making a move there if I like the sound better. Then I'll try the speakers. I figure why audition speakers on my Exposure if I may not even have that amp/CD player a couple of weeks later? So I'll make the move on electronics first.

    I haven't messed around with cables too much. I've opted to go with all copper cables (no silver plated stuff). When I moved to Cardas interconnects I felt there was an overall improvement in terms of a smoother and less grainy treble, and overall improved dynamics. These are relatively subtle differences though, and for now I'm going to focus on getting main components that I really love listening to before I think of buying more expensive cables. Hopefully, once all is said and done, the urge to upgrade this or that won't exist anymore. Well, for a few years at least!
    Naim Nait 5i
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