I am in a very fortunate position but I’m not sure which way to go……
I’ve been a music fan all my life and because of that I have been interested in the Hi-Fi hobby for much of that time. I’ll admit to only finding the one true path fairly recently and for that I apologise but seriously, in only a relatively short space of time I have put together a fantastic system that to these ears brings that music to life.
The system - to save you looking is thus….
Michell Gyro SE, Techno Arm, Ortofon 2M Black LVB 250; Michell HR PSU; Naim StageLine Phono Stage; Naim Uniti Core; Naim DAC; Naim XPS, Naim NAC 282 Pre, Naim HiCap, Naim NAPSC; Naim NAP 250 DR; Monitor Audio Gold 200. Cabling - Naim DC1, DIN Cables, NACA5 Speaker Cable. Rack - Atacama Elite Eco 6.
The fortunate position I’m in means I can splash a little more on the system but there is a slight problem - I’m being kicked out of the lounge! SWMBO has suggested that the 2 room annexe (granny/grandad flat) is put to use as an office and a music room.
And here’s the problem - it’s a lot smaller. It’s slightly bigger than a single garage.
So first thing I thought was a smaller pair of speakers - so that’s why I have a pair of Harbeth P3’s and a pair of PMC 25.21i’s on loan at the moment. And then possibly add a SuperCap - but the SC would need a full shelf and I’ve already got bits and pieces hiding around the back (StageLine, NAPSC, and TT PSU). Plus you can no longer purchase extra shelves for my current rack - a new rack then possibly, but I don’t really want the system to grow anymore!
So do I downsize? If I just keep the Core would a 3 piece new classic system - NSC 222 + NPX 300 + NAP 250 giveme similar to what I have now or would I be losing too much?
There would be one benefit I suppose. I would gain the ability to stream!
Sorry if I’ve gone on too long but please folks - if it were you what would you do?
I was seriously considering the NC path as my way forward until recently. However I am now considering 282/250DR/nDac as my way forward. I absolutely loved the sound of the NC system when I did my home demo a few months ago and still haven’t ruled it out.
Go have a listen, I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
First, start either looking for more shelves for you existing rack (pre-loved…?) or consider a different one. I am sure sorting out and organizing things will help anyway…! And maybe then there could be room for a Supercap…
Second, do not downsize. You have a great system (which happens to be a bit like my own…).
Third, yes - do look into smaller speakers. I have never had a big room and have always used smaller speakers. Linn Kans, then Royd Doublets - now Kudos X3’s.
Well I might know someone who could help you out with a 282/250 etc.
I don’t think I’ll be disappointed either but I am slightly concerned re the size of the room though! And getting the balance right with the amount of racks for music storage and equipment needed - hence the thought re downsizing a little - don’t want to go as far as @HungryHalibut although I fully appreciate his reasoning.
I would take a look at the NPX 300 > NSC 222 > NAP 250 (2023) with a Pair of ATC Classic SCM 20 speakers. Three boxes and a lovely pair of sealed speakers should look lovely and work well in your smaller room environment.
Having to much clutter in a smaller space would be a distraction for me I would at least demo the 3 box option before making the decision.
Few people here have directly compared NSC222 new NAP250 with NDX2/NAC282/250 classic however I think it’s quite possible there’s not much in it. A lot depends on where you see your future audio aspirations going but I think swapping from the 282/250 to NSC222/NAP250 is going to cost you a lot of money for a very small improvement at best. Personally I’m also against the trend of combining a pre-amp with a streamer for the simple reason that pre-amps age better than streamers which become obsolete eventually. If it was me I would:
Replace Naim Stageline with a more capable phono stage at £1000-£1500, I use a Trichord Dino with Never connected power supply but there’s loads of competing options at that price point.
Replace Ortofon 2M Black with something like a Lyra Delos, AT Art20, Hana ML or Ortofon Cadenza
The speakers in a smaller room are a conundrum but in essence I would be avoiding anything ported. Your PMC’s are a transmission line design though and have very well controlled and nimble bass response so I would try them in there first - they might sound fantastic! If you feel they aren’t working then I think as somebody else suggested ATC either SCM20 or SCM19 are the way to go because they are so incredibly good and are very tight with phenomenally tuneful and controlled bass.
There’s a million ways to skin this cat - largely because you don’t say for example how important vinyl is to you as a source. As you are running a GyroDec though I’m going to assume it’s pretty darned important and you have one of the worlds most expandable turntables which is far from being stretched just now. Given a top flight cartridge and arm combination that deck really can outperform some far more expensive options.
Why are you so quick to think about smaller speakers? They may well work fine, you might be surprised, they might sound better than where they are now. I tried my large speakers in a small room in the house and they sounded great. In some respects, better than in the big room.
The footprint between most average sized floor standing speakers and bookshelf speakers on a stand is not much different. I suppose you just need to check that you aren’t overwhelmed with bass.
A room smaller than a single garage is a small room indeed and a pity to constrain the quality kit you have. Can I assume that the resistance to keeping it all in the lounge is that there are a lot of boxes and wires, taking up space and looking yuck?
Brass tacks - a TV in the lounge deserves a quality audio output, which a hifi delivers. What would it take to keep a hifi in the lounge?
What if you reduced the number of boxes to make keeping the hifi in the lounge viable?
You could somewhat trim it to:
but you could really simplify it to:
record player with quality MM cart e.g. Vertere DG-1 or fit an MM cart to your Michell)
nsc 222 (has MM input and gives you streaming)
nap 250dr (or new classic 250)
That is just two smart looking boxes plus record player, which would occupy far less space (physically and visually) than the existing boxes and give you a vastly better room to play it all in.
At a wild guess, accepting a backward step in preamp, and a small backward step in the phono stage (allegedly the MM stage in NSC222 is behind the equivalent stageline), would be a small price to pay for a better room and better overall sound experience.
Could you say more about the ‘being kicked out of the lounge’ thing? Surely it’s something you agree together? Would you prefer to listen to music where you listen now, or would you in reality prefer to move to the annexe. Do you want to spend time together or do you seek more personal space?
A lot of boxes can look dreadful if not arranged well. Is that the problem? If you’d rather stay put but the plethora or bits and pieces is the issue, could you negotiate a compromise? For the ultimate discreet system, how about an NSC 222 and some active ATC SCM20ASLT in a nice veneer? Ideally you’d add the NPX300. I suspect it would sound better than what you have now and of course would look many times better. The SCM 19 and 40 look a bit brutalistic, whereas the 20 is a nice looking, albeit boxy, speaker.
Connect the Gyro directly and you’d have a lovely system. Gyro, one or two boxes and some nicer looking and far better speakers.
Indeed, I’m sure it’s great. The balanced outputs of the 222 make an active setup even more alluring. And you can add a NPX 300 to up the game if you wish. It’s got to be better than five or six boxes and all that wire and faff.
What size is this room exactly? I wouldn’t be downsizing anything at this stage, I would put it in the room (even as a temporary test arrangement) and hear how it sounds first. Lots of options after that if need be.
That’s a good point others have made above - why are you being asked to vacate the main room? I’m lucky my missus likes music and understands how a great hi-fi brings it to life but the hi-fi is also at the heart of our movie and TV watching.
I run a projector based home cinema system (no TV on wall, no ugly cabinets with DVD players under a TV - MUCH bigger and more cinematic picture…) and drive the front channels using my Naim amps. The rest of the surrounds and sub are driven by my AV receiver. Frankly when I watch movies at home it’s now better than all the local cinemas and we get to enjoy things like Wimbledon on the big screen too.
So maybe the secret to gaining her support for keeping the hi-fi in the main room is to make it more useful by combining it with as home cinema that the whole family will enjoy - and in the process getting rid of the TV and box of electronics under it (and putting the bluray player and AV amp in a rack with the hi-fi).
If you drop your nDac/XPS/282 for a 222 you’re going backwards in source and pre. There is no doubt about it. Going the NC route is going to be the simplest way to downsize without going all the way back to an integrated, but be aware you’re absolutely going to take a hit in SQ.
Oops - I may have not properly described the situation quite correctly so please let me explain a little more….
My partner is my rock and over the last few years I’ve been suffering with severe depression - I’ve always been a bit of a loner and a misery - hence her grandson calls me grumps not gramps ( plus he’s already got 2 grandads and I don’t want to upset them in any way).
My mother passed away nearly six years ago and she had suffered with dementia for a long long time and no longer knew who any of us were. My dad was heartbroken so we decided that as we live in quite a large house we would convert the double garage, downstairs loo, and utility room into as nice a living space as possible - plus being able to all keep our privacy when needed. Anyhow he took a bad turn in October last year and twice we were summoned into hospital and told to expect the worse. He somehow managed to survive much against his own wishes but I’m not going to open that particular can of worms here. Anyhow he is now in a home and has also been diagnosed with dementia and we are now looking toward whether we move out of this large 4/5 bedroom house to something smaller or make use of the space we have.
My preference is the latter - I love the house and where it is - we’ve got good quiet neighbours and it’s a nice area. I work from home predominantly and my office is in a tiny room upstairs which is full of wardrobes, lp’s cd’s, a couple of bass guitars - no I can’t play them but one day I might…. And lots of other miscellaneous junk! It’s a pain so the joint thought was to convert what had been dads lounge into a nice office and what had been his bedroom into a dedicated listening room - so sorry if my rather flippant description caused any raised eyebrows - it’s my way of “coping” with certain situations.
The lounge will be nice we’ll still sit together most nights watching films etc and there is an A/V amp and speakers under the telly for a somewhat better sound.
So in many ways I’m happy to get my own room or “man-cave” that I can decorate to my own personal taste!
And I just thought it might be nice to not have such a large stack or stacks of hi-fi equipment?
I’ll shut up now - but thanks for reading if you’ve got this far - I really enjoy and appreciate this forum and it’s members - it’s nice to be a part of something that we enjoy often as individuals but also can share together.
I would welcome the opportunity to set up a dedicated listening space, if listening to music is not a shared passion. I would not consider any changes at all at this stage, I would move into the new space, set up, optimise, treat the space and then assess what, if anything you might want to change.
Simon, thanks for sharing that. You’ve been through a lot as a family and depression is not nice, I’ve been there and I suspect many others on here have been there too. Have a good think about whether hiding away in the old garage is really what’s best for you. I often look at the pictures of ‘man caves’ on here, with a single chair and a little table for the beer and think I’d rather slit my throat than listen in such an environment. I’ve always viewed music as something to share, and while we have spare bedrooms that could be used for music, I’d never dream of it. Given everything you’ve said, I suspect moving to somewhere smaller is actually a better idea, rather than isolating yourself and having more opportunity to be depressed.
Of course, your thread was really about whether to reduce the hifi, and not about your mental health, and if I’ve said too much I apologise. I would add, though, that clearing out the boxes from our sitting room has been wonderful and I’m so pleased I did it. Mrs HH was quite happy with all the boxes, the decision was entirely mine. Just don’t rush into anything.