I am wondering about the best system to advise for a friend, in the 3k euros range.
So I finally choosed 2 systems, and wonder which one would you choose, by intuition or eventually experience?
1). Atom / Focal Choral 806/ Naca 5: the combo is sold actually with a discount, for around 3k euros.
My friend can upgrade only the speakers in the future, if he wants.
I don’t think he will be ready to upgrade with a 250 dr on it one day.
So it’s a non evolving system, apart the speakers.
But I think I would choose that one vs the second.
2). Rega elexR integrated / Bluesound node 2ii streamer/ Rega Rx3 speakers.
The Bluesound can be easily upgraded, with an additional dac. The speakers too.
Same total cost.
For what it is worth, my decision on what to pair with the Atom was between Focal Chora 926 (floorstanders) and Aria 906 (bookshelves). I went with the Aria for the following reasons: I felt I didn’t need a floorstander for size of room and purpose of use; I was looking for higher quality over volume/scale; the Aria was clearer, had better sounding mids. Noting the price point (although maybe Naim could do a deal on Atom+Arias) and the fact your friend could upgrade later (if he/she sticks with Focal, perhaps to Aria 906/926/936/948) the Chora seems a sensible entry.
On the Atom itself, I absolutely love it and think it really does represent superb value for money. Sorry, I don’t have experience of second option.
Focal Aria 906 and Chora 806 have quite the same price. Is there a difference?
The interesting point is that Atom/ Choral 806/ Naca 5 are sold with 650 euros reduction on the total price.
I understand that you like your Atom/ Focal bookshelves, so it’s positive here.
I’m not familiar with Rega electronics (although my dealer likes them), and speakers (until recently didn’t even know they made them), so can’t comment on which system should be better. But I do think you can make the choice on different grounds which might be relevant to your friend.
The first system is simply less boxes and IMO looks better. Partially subjective, but in the second one you’re also combining boxes that have different looks. It also gives you the convenience of a single app or remote to control it all. And if he uses Android, it has Chromecast built-in which the BlueSound doesn’t have AFAIK.
The second systems advantage is mainly around BlueSound. It will be much cheaper for your friend to add multi-room to it. The Flex 2i is 350 full price. Allegedly the app is also better, but haven’t used it myself. And if he wants to go all-in-one/upgrade in the future, NAD has the M10 and I think modules for some of their higher end kit as well.
As promised, a little feedback from the searches of my friend.
He didn’t listened to the Atom, because out of his budget for 3 k euros max system .
He listened to Primare all in one integrated streamer, and Lyngdorf. Don’t remember the speakers. He was not impressed.
Then he was impressed and choosed the system consisting of Heed Elixir , Innuos Zen Mini, and Fyne speakers. A great match made by a dealer for him.
I recommended him the two systems from the title of this thread. But my friend preferred to see dealers in his area , near home. And the reduced price for Atom/ Aria/ Naca 5 was not applicable by the dealer he met.
I listened to the Heed Lagrange integrated (full size, top integrated in the Heed range) with some big Fyne speakers with the Aurelic Vega G2 as source recently and was very impressed. I’m keen to hear the top Heed Thesis separate range.
My friend has heard only 3 systems in his life for now, so difficult to say how really good this system was, specially vs something like an Atom and speakers, for about same cash.
Or REGA integrated.
Personally I have no experience with that system. A bit sad he didn’t heard the Atom as I advised him.