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Thread: What's the best system you've heard?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2017

    Location: Northern Ireland

    Posts: 64
    I'm James.

    Default What's the best system you've heard?

    Being relatively new to hifi I haven't heard alot that's out there and mostly go by the opinions of others on what to buy such as reviewers and hifi veterans such as yourselfs and so I'm curious what is the best systems you've heard?

    For me the best I heard was a friend's, Marantz sa11s2, Abrahamsen v2 up integrated amplifier and Sonus Faber olympica iiis which are easily one of the most beautiful looking speakers out there. The sound that these bits of kit produce is incredibly detailed and exciting no bad recordings allowed or you'll cringe at ever little flaw. The Abrahamsen is made by a hifi legend Per Abrahamsen a founder and lead designer from Electrocompaniet up until they went bankrupt in 2004 and were sold to another company he started his own company and everyone from the original Electrocompaniet followed, it's a cracking amp that's powers the big Faber's with ease. The Faber's while being big are incredibly picky about postioning and aren't fun to move at 91kgs. The Marantz really opened my eyes to ability of super audio CDs you hear these new layers of instruments and subtle details you never knew where there before. Well I guess I should shut up now and suppress this raging hifi boner I've got going
    SOURCES: Marantz cd63 mk2 ki, Marantz cd6000ose
    AMPLIFICATION: Albarry m408s mono blocs with ap3 pre
    CABLES: Chord company c-line, Monster interlink 400, QED silver speaker cable, Tacima cs947 mains conditioner
    SPEAKERS: Mission 752 freedoms, AKG K550 mk2 headphones

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jul 2009

    Location: Hampshire, UK

    Posts: 2,366
    I'm Buriedunderaloadofturntables.


    It was the Munich High End Show 2012 and, if I remember correctly, the CD player and preamp were Krell, but the speakers were the ADAM Audio OSS.

    I actually flew home slightly depressed as I had never heard anything so truly stunning in my life and was afraid I never would again. Five years later, I still haven't...

  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2017

    Location: Northern Ireland

    Posts: 64
    I'm James.


    Yes that's the exact same way I felt when I went back to my own system
    SOURCES: Marantz cd63 mk2 ki, Marantz cd6000ose
    AMPLIFICATION: Albarry m408s mono blocs with ap3 pre
    CABLES: Chord company c-line, Monster interlink 400, QED silver speaker cable, Tacima cs947 mains conditioner
    SPEAKERS: Mission 752 freedoms, AKG K550 mk2 headphones

  4. #4
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Warrington

    Posts: 3,107
    I'm Neil.


    The best system I've heard is my own, but I'm sure if I went to some 'ultra-fi' show listening to six figures systems I could well come home feeling disappointed, so I'll stay ignorant & enjoy the tunes instead. :P

    HiFi is a very personal thing though, rooms change a lot of things too, so I expect a lot of people in here will also think it's their own systems that sound best to them.
    Mana Acoustics Racks / Bright Star IsoNodes Decoupling >> Custom Silent Media Server >> Halide Bridge USB (with AQVOX USB power) >> Pedja Rogic's Audial Model S DAC + Pioneer PL-71 turntable / Vista Audio phono-1 mk II / Denon PCL-5 headshell / Reson Reca >> LFD DLS >> LFD PA2M (SE) >> Royd RR3s.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Bishops Stortford

    Posts: 637
    I'm Chris.


    The best system I ever heard was at Slawa's place (SW1X). A fully valved system, using mostly his kit, feeding field coil open baffle speakers. Despite already having a pretty good system comprising 6ft horn speakers and top of the range amplification by EAR I had become jaded by the lack of progress in sound quality by modern kit, typified by the harsh digital mess displayed by most manufacturers at high end shows.

    I get re-acquainted with that system whenever I visit Slawas and the bits of kit I have bought from him nudge me closer to that end product. Its taken me about 50 years to go back to technology that is often 50 years old - work that out.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: souf east for work

    Posts: 1,012
    I'm paul.


    That's a tough one and I would have to say it depends where I heard it. Jim ( Jvs ) formerly of the wam, Wilson watt puppies at Scalford in a big room cranked up, were fantastic, not quite as good in his own room. Ritchies 5 way horns in his room were as good in a different way, but my own in my treated room is the best and the reason I haven't seen anything I would replace in ages.
    Sony STR 6055 Denon DP80 Stax UA-70 Shure Ultra 500 in a Martin Bastin body with jico stylus Zu omen

    Office system, DIY CSS fullrange speakers with aurum cantus G2 ribbons Najda dsp as dac Akai AM-U02 Jvc QL-A51 direct drive turntable
    SAE1000LT leema sub. JVC Z4S cart is in the house

    Garage system another Sony receiver, cassette deck and full range drivers in free air

    System components are subject to change without warning and at the discretion of the owner.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Fenland

    Posts: 125
    I'm Bob.


    I look at this slightly different, many years ago I went to a classical music recital held in Lincoln cathedral, I can't remember what was played, but the sound was so sweet, especially the high end notes of someone playing a "Triangle".

    I cannot replicate Lincoln cathedral in my flat, I came close in my last house, the room was large with the perfect shape and layout for "Hi-Fi", I would say (And a few others on here agree) that your room, layout and furnishings play such a major part in how you hear music.

    This would make comparisons between equipment in different room layouts very difficult to say the least.

    But when you get the right gear in the right place you will know you have it right.

    Don't get too hung up on the gear side of it unless you also get the setting right.

    EDIT: Sorry Paul didn't see your post.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Forest of Dean, Glos

    Posts: 10,271
    I'm Jerry.


    Best system for what?

    The best I have heard for low level detail was at a Show with hOrnes Universum speakers. They really did make me look a bit askance at my lovely MBLs.
    -- but then crank it up a bit and my system handles it better.

    Best imaging I have heard was a friend's pair of Harbeth P3ESR speakers and I can't recall the rest of the system. I mean, really 3D. Jaw drop for me.
    My system is good at imaging, but not that good!
    But ... dynamics, power delivery, resolution; no, my system does it better for me.

    The most natural tonality I have heard from a system was with a pair or refurbed Quad II amps - wowzer! Gorgeous. But dynamically it was like watching paint dry.

    I haven't heard anything that is overall better than what I hear at home - but then I have chosen my system to match my own tastes, so it's hardly surprising that I like it.

    I am however grateful that I haven't been to Munich and heard those Krell-driven Adams!!

    Qobuz 16/44 streaming >> Acer laptop >> Halide Bridge USB (with AQVOX USB power) >> Wadia 151 PowerDAC >> Podium 0.5 speakers.

    'Resting' - Herron VTSP2 preamp, Trigon TRE50M monoblocks, MBL 116f speakers

    Cables: Wireworld Starlight USB, Ixos Ixotica i/c, W&M speaker cables, Belden 19364 mains cables

    Headphones: Fostex TH600, Audeze EL-8, Wharfedale Isodynamic, Philips Fidelio X2
    Headphone amp: Denon DN-A 100 integrated amp

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 18,636
    I'm openingabottleofwine.


    I rarely visit audio shows, but when I do, and on the rare occasion when I hear a good system, it might at the time make me feel dissatisfied with my own, that feeling dissappears as soon as I return home and listen to my system. It's far from perfect but I'm quite satisfied and content with its performance and don't envisage making any major changes in the future.

    Likewise I have heard other systems, can appreciate their strengths, forgive their weaknesses, but never come away feeling dissapointed with my own set up.
    Last edited by Barry; 29-11-2017 at 15:34. Reason: spelling
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?


  10. #10
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: Suffolk, UK

    Posts: 1,334
    I'm Paul.


    For me it was at a show where one of the smaller rooms had a Primare music server and amp going to some Revel Concerta 2 standmount speakers. Just stunning... but I have also heard some real expensive stuff sound terrible. I don’t think it was the gear per se, it was the gear and the room just didn't mesh well.

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