I’m seriously thinking about something like the new Dynaudio Focus range in the next couple of years to replace both my Naim systems. For many reasons.
Focus 30 I want to check out, the main comparison for me being a decent pre/streamer + “dumb” active speakers vs a smart speaker.
I can’t demo the Buchardt but they do a no questions home demo for 60 days, you can tune the DSP/crossover on those which is interesting.
I used to own Dynaudio XD 600’s, which is an earlier model of the Focus actives. Great sounding speakers, but I have a few points to make about them.
This hobby in general is for music lovers, but most of us like to tinker/try new gear as part of the fun. The active Dynaudio speakers do NOT allow you to tinker, what you get is what you get.
If you are ok with that, by all means try a pair.
The next thing is if something goes wrong with the electronics, you are without music, no swapping in an old amp you have in the closet to get you by.
Third is resale value, they lose a lot of value rapidly. I sold mine for a third of what I paid 5 years later, and they were in perfect cosmetic and working condition.
Just a few points from someone who owned active Dynaudio speakers.
Mr M, you talk about ‘hi-fi intrusion’ yet the system has only two boxes, the NDX2 and SN2, which is hardly large. I wonder if it’s the Fraim that’s the issue. I’ve recently rejigged my stuff and it’s now much more discreet, with a wooden top with a light on top. The Kanta 1 is a pretty speaker and I can’t see that being particularly intrusive. Maybe it’s nothing about intrusion, more that you just fancy a change.
It is that aspect in part, oddly enough I had an isoblue rack as well and sold it!
I use that system infrequently as well in all honesty, it works well and when I have the time I enjoy it, I just find myself looking at it more as a pile of cash I don’t get full use from I guess.
If the looks bother you, then maybe a Nova on a sideboard etc.
Sounds good and gets the approval of the style set.
IMO the Isoblue rack is hardly discreet and is one of the bulkier and more intrusive looking racks on the market.
I understand exactly where you are coming from, having been there myself. You may want to even consider single box solutions like the Muso. Something like this placed on a nice coffee table could provide plenty of entertainment, fit discreetly into the room and wouldn’t annoy you every time you glanced at it with the thought of how much cash is tied up in it.
If later your circumstances were to change then it could be re-purposed as a secondary system.
well I have an Atom in the lounge and that does a decent job.
It’s also the interest to experiment with active speakers as well hence the original thinking towards a DSM pre/streamer.
All valid points, again It’s more an interest to explore what active speakers offer as I haven’t done that in the past and as such a streaming preamp or smart speakers are the primary focus.
At least it looks like a piece of furniture - which makes it one of the best looking racks on the market
I’m with the OP here, and personally feel that the two (or more) boxes per function approach will appeal to fewer and fewer people going forward. I also think that Naim having not released a 272 successor, despite them hinting many times on these pages there was one in the pipeline, will prove to be flawed decision.
Also, my own ears tell me that having an expensive linear power supply attached to an already expensive bit of kit is not necessary for good sound. I can say this as I have home trialed an inexpensive (by the standards of most who post on here) Topping system and IMO it was streets ahead of my 272/555/250…and there is no LPS in sight, just well designed SMPS. It is also much more domestically appealing, occupying much less space and not needing a specific hi-fi rack to sound good.
I’m not intending to have a go at Naim here, rather pointing out there are other paths and options that people can look at as long as they can put aside the notion that £/$ or whatever is a measure of SQ.
I had an isoblue rack for years and found it “fitted in” nicely. I’ve still got my Hutter one which I won’t be letting go of, If I’m honest they both look nicer than Fraim and are less of a faff to setup especially the isoblue which is idiot proof. That’s not to say Fraim isn’t a great product for what it’s designed for, it is. I’m maybe just getting more tolerant in my old age
Idiot proof. Suits me sir.
The active speakers that really tickle my fancy are ATC’s SCM20ASLT. They just look great and I can imagine with a Linn Akurate or Klimax and balanced connections they’d be fantastic.
Well precisely and the motivation for this thought process.
To be honest this is as much about me window shopping (locally, because I can) to answer that niggling question, if I got rid of my entire main system and replaced it, would this approach work domestically and sonically.
I’m at the start of that process beginning Monday but following up quickly with the other candidate products (apart from the Buchardt speakers, but I may just get some to see what they offer, worst case, ship them back 60 days later, nothing lost)
Yes I agree.
I’ve heard the 20 tower passive and the active version at a dealers and they were both very good.
Perhaps the sweet spot for a reasonably priced high end solution.
Suggesting an Isoblue is bulky and intrusive is bizarre. Knocked up in a garage I can understand but bulky and intrusive, no way. The Special Branch versions are rather fine.
ATC certainly seem to consistently stand out, both in passive and active guise as speakers people are drawn to, try and keep, usually for a long time. I lack in depth exposure to them nor can claim prior ownership but it’s enough to pique my interest and explore what they have the potential to offer me further.
I certainly lack the willingness today that I had in the past to fill a room with multiple boxes to essentially do one job, and at a high price financially. I’m willing to go as far as is sensible within my means.
Also bare in mind I’ve already taken a similar approach elsewhere with an Atom in my lounge and a Selekt DSM (currently) in my office.
I did also think today an Atom HE + ATC Active could be a nice compromise, great headphone system and backed up with capable actives for room filling enjoyment and with a modest footprint I could shove on a nice domestic piece of furniture and allow the room to broaden its horizons more than it does today.
I’m also still drawn to the KDSM 2 approach as used they offer a decent price point and the features I really need as well as the option to “go Organik” as funds allow down the line.
Please forgive me, but I can’t let this pass. It’s bear, not bare.