I am stuck with not knowing where to start and I’d appreciate some help. The more I read, the more confused I get. I am running a Project Xtension 9 TT (Ortofon Cadenza Black) into a Supernait 2 with PSU and out to a pair of Magico A1 speakers. Nobody is allowed to use the word ‘mullet’.
What amp would be a match for the Magico’s (84db sensitivity, 4ohms impedence)? Unhelpfully I prefer integrated amps. I know I know! Then I was ready to commit to a RP10 turntable having auditioned one on a Supernait 3 with Spendor D7 floor standing speakers. I liked the presentation of the music, probably on the dry/neutral side source wise but great separation and detail, which seemed a long way off from a slightly muddy, pitch compromised Pro-ject. I thought the speakers were a bit bright tbh, but I can’t fairly say given my unfamiliarity with the various components.
Then I read a review that heavily criticised the low mass approach, and the presence of uncoupled motor rumble. So whilst I liked the sound I did begin to think I should look to audition other decks with greater mass and ideally a decoupled motor (Nottingham Analogue Dais?) but they all seem so expensive compared to the Rega P10 (ha!). Or should I just sell the Magico’s, get a new TT and stay happy with the SN2 integrated, connected back to my dust covered PMC Twenty 22’s? This feels like the logical answer but it also feels like defeat. I want to hear the Magico sing as I know they can, its resolution is astonishing even with the current set up. Budget wise, maybe I could convince myself to stretch to £10k all in whatever the solution.
Mmm, my thoughts are biased by what I have arrived at, but sn2 or sn3 has been well covered on here with the SN2 plus an mc stage perhaps not so bad vs the sn3 with its built in mm phono stage. So choice perhaps driven by cart you are eventually going to use.
TT I prefer the simplicity of the Rega range vs previously owned Linn and the various upgrades I chased. The P8 plus a Hana SL running with the Goldnote PH 10 phono stage is where I have stopped. Would the P10 give you so much more if you are staying with the integrated amp?
The biggest surprise is that you find the D7’s a bit bright. This is pretty much the opposite of the way I have found them. I looked at the D7.2 but eventually went with the D9.2. They seem to fill my room better.
I’d start with the amp you want, find the best speakers for your room and then look at the source that suits you best. This of course is exactly the opposite of the conventional wisdom on here, but if you are stuck on wanting an integrated amp that is the way I would approach it.
The Supernait 3 does not get along well with those sensitivities, and even less with those demanding impedance loads, I learned it by rubbing my pocket, and times ahead are less and less to scratch our pockets …
Or Magico A1 with a capable integrated, depending on tastes, but with that budget there is a lot to choose from; or Supernait 3 with speakers of greater sensitivity and impedance of minimum 8 Ohms and without large drops, which, with that budget there is also a lot to choose from.
From the TT I abstain, not my vein.
A Rega P10 deserves more than the phono inside the SN3 . With a good MC , be it Lyra Delos or Rega Apheta 3, the turntable will give enough body to the sound.
Then , to begin, you can add a Nap 250 dr for the Supernait 2, and later sell the Supernait 2 and buy a NAC 282.
But if you don’t want to invest into an MC cart, phono and 250 dr, maybe sell the Magico. An SN2 can’t reveal enough the Magico. The A1 need at minimum 282/hicap/250 dr.
For me, picking up on your “logical answer”, improving on the PMC twenty.22 speakers would very much be my intent. Clearly the twenty.26 version will give a much better scale of presentation, or the twentyfive.26, and if bought secondhand, or ex-dem (which is what I’d do), there is plenty for an amp…. However I’d be looking beyond the .26: The PMC Fact 12 is a far better speaker - I have seen them as low as about £6k secondhand, though they don’t crop up often, which would still leave budget for a decent amp to bet the best out of them.
However, a wildcard suggestion would be to get a decent streamer, or better still a separate music store and renderer (aka transport) and a good DAC, and switch to digital. Decent modern digital loses the inherent and audible sound quality limitations of vinyl, without any hint of the harshness/brittleness and poor bass of early digital, and to my ears (and not only mine) is a significant improvement….
Along the lines of IB’s suggestion, how committed are you to vinyl?
With your constraints, I would be tempted to ditch the TT; and explore a Chord Dave cum 250DR.
Running for cover…
Rega do things differently from most, in their low mass / high rigidity designs. It may be worth getting hold of their book, ‘A Vibration Measuring Machine’. Remember also that a lot of reviewers spout absolute nonsense, based on their preconceptions rather than real world experience. The P10 is a superb deck, I have one with an Apheta 3 and Aria 3 phono stage. I use a Supernait 3, which was more than capable of showing the very significant improvement over a P8.
You can sometimes get away with a lower level amp and higher level speakers if you have a really good source. I’d forget the nonsensical ramblings of a clueless reviewer and try a P10 with your Supernait. You may be perfectly happy with the result, if not you can try alternative speakers.
I suspect that your PMCs would sound rather good with the P10 fronting the system. Fact 12s have been mentioned: by all accounts they need a NAP500 to shine, so if you have £50,000 to spend on a 552/500 that may be an option, but with a Supernait, no way. I use the little ProAc Tablette 10 Signature with my SN3 and it’s excellent. Others use the larger D2R and are very happy, so that may be an option.
You mention a ‘power supply’ for your SN2. That suggests it’s not a Naim one; remember that the SN2 incorporates a very good DR power supply and therefore your add on my not really be an improvement at all. It’s worth looking at a Hicap DR, though not everyone prefers the SN2 with a PS added.
Hmm, I think I’d like to stick with Vinyl (along with a leema Antila ii eco cd player which I have.) I am someone who would rather focus on a few tangible albums, rather than millions. Although to contradict myself, for I stream to my Dali Katch whilst doing other things like cooking in the kitchen. I can absolutely see the attraction.
Changing tack with speakers, exploring a ‘bridge’ solution for the amp (I should have said I have a Pathos Into The Groove Phono amp). I’m not so sure. Perhaps the suggestion to revise the amp altogether might be the best option. Get that right (somehow), and then look at sources, probably A TT, but who knows. And anyway, there might just be a recession on the way. Might invest heavily in baked beans for the winter period.
The thing with over doing it on the speakers is you’re then driven to lay catch up. I haven’t worked out what your budget is but assuming at least 5k if you’re contemplating a rega and mc phonostage there are a few auditions to do.
First up is to work out what you like in a turntable, this can be done in dealerships, at least to start with. Rega do things their own way with no VTA adjustment and a peculiar way of earthing the arm that suits their own phonostages better than anyone else’s. Try a few decks against a Rega and maybe your project if you’re thinking of retaining it. The Well Tempered decks make a good foil against the Regas with the Simplex and Versalex being the pick of them. Then there’s Linn, can be a bit of a money pit if the upgrade but bites but worth a listen. Then a host of other contenders.
Before going too far on that however there’s the question of the Magicos and driving them. Naim don’t do a more capable integrated but a 250 using the supernait as a pre might tell you if they need more drive. The 250 is a regulated amp that looks more powerful to the speaker than its steady state wattage rating would suggest. If that’s promising then consider a 282 to partner it and you’ve broken the integrated barrier. If you can’t than you’re leaving Naim for something else but with a different flavour or trading the Magicos.
That is very helpful thanks. I will look into this.
Many good suggestions in this thread. I’d echo the views that the Magico’s may be “too much speaker” for the rest of the system and would recommend a more balanced approach. No hard and fast rules but overspending on speakers to the detriment of the source and the amp is generally not a good idea. In my case the source, amp and speakers are roughly the same value (though in my home office system the source is somewhat more expensive than the other components, but it being an LP12 this is almost inevitable … - in the living room system it’s more in the opposite direction, with a P8 which is really excellent value for money).
Magicos are great speakers but will need more power to maximize their performance. Maybe a Nap 250/282 or 252 as suggested before. I have a Rega P25 with a stageline and feel there is great synergy with my Naim system.
… but since you already have the Magicos… They are truly excellent so my take would be to make them sing as good as achievable with - indeed - something like a 282/250 combo.
A Gryphon Diablo integrated would be a good choice too. The sound has similar characteristics to Naim.
As would a Rega Osiris! Fabulous integrated amp.
Could you elaborate a little as to why you think it is great?
Sure because I’ve heard the Osiris drive ATC speakers which require an amplifier with control, authority and decent headroom to get the best out of them. And, the amp also sounded really good at low volume with these ATCs too, which is no mean feet with this range of speakers. Can’t remember the specs, but it has something like 150-160 watts per channel IIRC, so should easily cope with the power hungry recalcitrant Magicos. Well worth an audition, and if I was in the market for a hyper-integrated I’d certainly be arranging a dem. Plus, you have Rega’s great customer service and lifetime warranty too.
Another recommendation for the Rega Osiris.
162 W into 8 Ω (250 W into 4 Ω), dual mono amplifier.
Drive my PMC MB2se with authority and control , as Yeti said , but with finesse and delicacy as well when called for.
There’s not a lot of choices. If you want to keep your Magico and give them the quality of electronics they deserve and in the meantime reduce box quantity, you need a much better integrated than the Supernait.
Gryphon Diablo 120, Audionet, Rega Osiris …come to mind, as they cost around 10k and will compete with 3 Naim boxes as 282/hicap / 250 dr .
Thank you everyone for the helpful input. Very much appreciated. I think I have a good few options to explore.