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Diving into the world of Hi-Fi seperates

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Hi Everyone,


Previous owner of KEF LS50W's (version 1), however as these are now kaput I've decided to dive into the rather confusing world of Hi-Fi separates. Currently planning my first system and hoping to be able to pull the trigger shortly. Hope to learn more from this forum and get advice from those with more knowledge and experience than myself.


Current plan for my new system is


  • Wharfedale Linton's 85th
  • Rotel RB-1552 Power Amp
  • Gustard A26 DAC
  • Wiim Pro streamer
  • Cables - no idea, haven't started researching that yet


Hope to be able to add a pre amp later on too, when I have the funds available!







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Well I'll put in a quick reply to say I have been running Lintons in a medium sized space - an unusual room with some archways into it, old sash windows, sprung floors and high ceilings - and I love them. They replaced older Krix Lyrix Gold floorstanders and Monitor Audio Bronze 100s which I had used alternatively. A big step up from the Krix for me (and in part I think the Krix just didn't play so nicely in my room) and not as bright at the top end as the Monitor Audios, but a much bigger sound overall - as you'd expect from a 3 way. The Lintons are really pleasant to listen to, somewhat mellow speakers. Not to everyone's taste - but what speaker is?

In my room and my use case, I found that a little extra power in reserve was handy for the Lintons. Maybe even just to feel like I was not straining the amp at all.  I have used a Yamaha AS701 integrated, a NAD C368 integrated an older Cambridge Audio 640R AVR and, most recently, the NAD C368 as a preamp with an older Emotiva BASX300 power amp that puts out about the same as the Rotel you mentioned; maybe just a little more.  I like the NAD C368 running them alone, but the NAD/Emotiva combination has been the best one for me. All the amps I have used ran them comfortably for my listening, but the pre/pro combination seemed to do it with the most ease and certainly with more room to really crank them on that rare occasion. Depending on the size of your space I suspect that Rotel is a good choice power wise. I note that for me the use of just an integrated had a higher wife/family acceptance factor for its simplicity though.

I also stream with a Wiim Pro (love it - best value by a mile) into a SMSL DO200 DAC.

I think it is worth getting a preamp sooner. Various DACs (like mine) can serve as a preamp but I don't like the risk of digital preamps being unexpectedly set at a high level and hitting the speakers with heaps of power and no knob for me to turn them down. It also could just be my ears but even though it is not a dedicated preamp (rather an integrated with preouts - so just being used as a preamp) but I am very happy with the job the C368 is doing in that front.

Edited by tsfreo
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An affordable way of putting something in to use as a preamp, while you work up to a more dedicated preamp, is to use a quality preloved integrated or AVR with preouts. You can sometimes pickup a good example, particularly on the AVR side, for a few hundred dollars., That is what my cambridge audio AVR cost me last year.

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