Need suggestions to improve on my previous build!

I am new here so please forgive any mistakes.

I had a complete stereo system which i loved 100% but had to sell it. Now i am back in it again.
I need something which can atleast match or surpass the quality i was getting before in just stereo, not movies or anything.
The previous system was

Speakers: B&W CM9 made in china
amplifier: Krell KAV3250e [250watt per channel @8ohms]
Pre.amp: Arcam FMJ-A29
Streamer: Naim ND5 XS - on tidal
RCA: Van Damme Pro Grade
Spk cable: Kimber kable 12TC
*Room was not acoustically treated.

It sounded excellent and was perfect. Now the current setup i have is this. What should i upgrade in this setup.
I have an offer of trade in of triangle speakers with kef reference model 1 uk made.

Speakers: Triangle Antal EX Espirit made in china
amplifier: NAD C272 300watt per channel in monoblock configuration
amplifier 2: NAD C272 300watt per channel in monoblock configuration
Pre.amp: Audiolab 8000C
Streamer: Marantz MCR610
RCA: Some old monster cables
Spk cable: Kimber kable 12TC
*Room has been acoustically treated.

Recommendations please.
If i go down the cm9 line, its gonna cost me around a $1500 more while staying with KEF costs nothing.
Please advise.



Although mixing and matching components can lead to a great system, yours seems to be a bit random.

Although I don’t know the Kef speakers I’d be inclined to stick with them at this stage and think about your electronics. The fact you are asking on the Naim forum and previously had a Naim streamer indicates that you’re thinking about Naim again? Depending upon where you live and therefore availability, and of course budget, I would think about a used NAIM NDX and SN2/3. A simple but effective solution.

Other guys might have some different ideas.



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And are asking for views on a complete, complex non-Naim system… Seems a bit … odd. And not likely to get good answers… maybe…?

Think Again.

Add More Naim.

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You mention Kef speakers, but the system details in your post mentions something else and not Kef…?

Anyway, as speakers more than any other system component are key to the sound character of a system, choice is highly personal, and you really have to hear to decide which you prefer. People can make suggestions for shortlisting, but as you’re not using a Naim amp I’m not sure that many people here, the vast majority having Naim amps, will feel able to offer anything meaningful. Also, for speaker suggestions it would be useful to know your max budget. If the $1500 you mention is the budget, that is quite limited and I would suggest looking secondhand or at least ex-demo. (And noting your reference to dollars, whereabouts you are in the world would be worth mentioning as it may affect availability and suggestions).

His profile says Pakistan. It’s always worth checking!

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You might attract more replies if you were to move this to the Hi Fi Corner.

I have a couple of comments.

You mention swapping your Triangle speakers for Kef Ref model One, i am presuming you mean the original 30 year old Ref Ones? If so, note that (in the UK) the second hand value of your Triangle speakers is 2-3 times more than the second hand value of the old Kefs.

However, having said that, the Kef’s may well sound better if they are still in good condition.

One particular weakness with the older Kef’s is that they use a thin foam surround to attach the Bass driver cone to it’s frame, and this foam deteriorates and breaks up with age. This leave the driver cone unrestrained, and if driven hard will damage the drive unit.

The good news is that replacement foam surrounds are reasonable available as long as you have some DIY skills, as to replace them will require some disassembly of the speaker cabinet from their underside to get the bass driver out so that you can clean off the old foam surround and then glue on the replacement.

I replaced the foam surrounds on the dual bass drivers in an old pair of Kef Ref 103/4’s that i had from new, the foams on those started to break up after around 20 years.

The other thing to note is that unlike most speakers, the kef reference floor standing speakers of that age hide the bass driver inside a cavity, so you cant see it easily from the outside. I used a mobile phone camera to take pictures of mine as the cavity vent is large enough to put you hand in with a phone.

My other comment concerns your Audiolab 8000C, a great sounding pre-amp from around 30 years ago, but if it has never been serviced/recapped it will probably be sounding quite soft by now. When i had an old 8000C i replaced it with the slightly newer 8000Q which was a significant improvement, not only as slight newer, but a much better circuit design and with capacitor types that are more stable/longer lasting to to the old electrolytic caps used throughout the older 8000C. So worth considering an 8000Q if they are any available in your area (they usually sell for about 1.5 times the price of an 8000C)

i wanted the nd5 xs2 but its not available. i asked here becoz there are experts who can guide me better.

naim is not available but i used one before and would want to know what difference would it make if i switched companies. is it 9/10 or 9/20. i need an nd5 xs alternative. maybe adding in a cyrus dac master help. should i ? can it compete with the dac capabilities of the nd5 xs.

@Innocent_Bystander i mentioned kef yes as they are in the pipeline, i dont have them yet they are an option i could get them. that would save me a lot of money if i didnt go with the cm9. i cant hear them all as i need to import the stuff. $1500 on top of the triangles which are going for $2000 so thats a total of 3500$ for the speakers but i do need 4 x rca which are around a 1000$ and if i get the cyrus dac master thats additional $700. but if i just get the kef i would save a $1000 which i can use for cables and ± dacmaster. yeah 2nd hand stuff is good for me. i am in pakistan nothing is available here due to corrupt politicians heck we dont have electricity like 10hrs a day i am running on off grid solar.

@kwhitmarsh yes the original ones. ill be saving around $1000-1500 on this or if you want i am dispatch them to uk. kefs condition are A1 superb. i have tested them before but just on a small 30watt x 2 amp and they were better sonically than the triangles. foam has been replaced so no issues there.

As for the audiolab its been recapped and serviced by me. so its just perfect. i can move on to a naim premap or 8000Q or there is another quad preamp which i like but this one is perfect hence nor gonna change this until the last thing is done.

update: should i 1> add in a dac with marantz or 2> there is an arcam st60 streamer .

will that sound better in terms of quality! ill sell the marantz then!

updates: dude has a focal electra 1007 be in brand new condition the things is i gotta sell one of the nad amps & the traiangles and another 500$ on top to get them . is it worth the price difference?

how will they perform on just a single nad c272 at 150watt p/ch. will the audiolab 8000c preamp work fine with it or do i need to upgrade the amplifier and or pre-amp as well. thankyou

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