Really? I’ve had Fraim for over a year and not once has it drifted off or become a pain. It’s a superb rack in every single way.
I agree it’s a superbly performing rack. IMO it’s pain to set up properly in that if fasteners are done up too tight or too loosely it apparently will degrade performance. so everything needs to be ‘just so’ if one want’s the best from it. It’s acknowledged that fasteners will loosen in time and this means regular dismantling and re-building is required to keep tip-top performance. I have owned Fraim in the past but I couldn’t be doing with that hassle now. Anyway if you’re happy with yours then all is well.
Well not quite roulette but hard. 80% of the world (at least) live countries where home demo simply isn’t a thing or dealers are few and far between. So many posts (not this thread) deride or berate users who buy things on a punt.
We have to accept that outside of the UK and a few major western population centres, ideal methods of trialing just don’t exist and it isn’t the user’s fault. Luckily I think the OP has more ideal options.
Perhaps I should have been clearer: I was making the assumption that the OP owned a basic Q4 stand, which is what most mean when they write Quadraspire. The SVT is far better and the bamboo version very fine indeed.
As to whether a bare CDX2 and a Rega RP6 are up to a 282/250 and a pair of £5,000 speakers is a matter of opinion. It’s not what I would do as in my experience a different allocation of funds will likely give a more rewarding musical experience. Big flash speakers are far better for impressing your mates though.
I would consider the Harbeth Compact -7-esr-xd for your 5 grand budget.
They get consistently excellent reviews focussing on Jazz and vocals and are well known to have a neutral character without any discolouration of the music. As you would then expect, bass is not one of its strong characters, but that probably fits with Jazz recordings.
But the OP can demo and is doing so at the moment at home. And the thread title specifically asks for speaker suggestions.
Forum consensus is that it would be unlikely to improve on the bare CDX2, though I’ve not done the comparison. The obvious PS for your CD player is the XPS, not necessarily DR. Good used examples might have fallen a bit in price recently now Naim have stopped doing DR upgrades.
No chance for a pair of Wilson Benesch Precision P2.0 or second hand Vector?
If you like the tone, timbre and the sweetness together with the dynamics of WB, but you want to investigate other brands, ProAc Response (or K series) and maybe (maybe) some B&W (804 ?) could be the first to listen…
I would say yes and no. It really depends on your priorities and the way you listen. For instance a large pair of speakers can bring a sense of reality and ‘being there’ to the listening experience that no smaller speaker, no matter how capable, can achieve. Even when driven by less than top class electronics. On the other hand more expensive electronics into a a cheaper smaller pair of speakers will perhaps convey more detail and nuances of performance.
At the end of the day it’s by no means clear cut. My own speakers are £4K Klipsch Forte III’s and these are the only large speakers I’ve ever owned. I’m used to Kans and IBL’s. These are driven by a Sim Audio Moon 340ix amp (around £4K) and the source is a Melco N100 with Plixir PSU (total £2.5K) Conventional wisdom would be that I should perhaps have bought a £7K Melco and a cheaper amp and speakers. Would that have been more rewarding to listen to? I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is that the speakers bring a realism to my listening that I’ve never before experienced at home, even with IBL’s driven by a CDS3/252/Olive250. That’s somewhere in excess of around £14K of electronics including the power supplies compared to my now £6.5K. Well I know which I would rather be listening to - this is the best music I’ve ever had at home, no question.
So I would say both ways forward are equally valid within limits obviously. I’ve nothing at all against small speakers - I would love an excuse to buy a pair of JBL Classic L52’s!
My suggestion would be to purchase a used XPS for your source and if you want accurate neutral speakers try ATC. The 40s would work well with your electronics and room size.
For a long time I stuck with the same speakers (which were never quite right) and ploughed through numerous upgrades which improved certain things. Obviously they never changed the tonal characteristics of the speakers and things remained amiss.
I recently purchased the 40s and have finally found the sound I have been after - tight articulate bass, beautiful detailed midrange, sweet extended upper frequencies and incredible dynamics. It took me a long time to find the right speakers but it was worth the wait.
Both should be roughly within budget particularly if you buy used.
Unfortunately I have no experience of the dark arts of turn table technicalities so you would have to take the advice of others but it depends what your primary source is as to where you spend your money.
If the OP is interested in Jazz (as he mentioned) and it’s of a certain era, I’d actually be thinking JBLs might be just the ticket since so much Jazz from a certain era would have been mastered on and play back on old JBL monitors. With that in mind, JBL S3900 would be something I’d want to hear if I could. JBL are hit and miss so I’d really want to try first. When JBL is rubbish, it’s rubbish When JBL is good it’s really good. Albeit like eating pizza exactly when pizza was what you really wanted and it hits the spot perfectly.
I always thought JBL was a joke in terms of real hifi but they are massively popular here in Japan and every time I hear proper higher end JBLs or monitors I can’t help thinking, “damn that sounds good.”
I have an almost identical set-up to the OP’s, the exception being the turntable and the speakers.
When I bought it many moons ago, I did a bake-off between a pair of Arcs and Dynaudio Contour 1.3’s. I loved the Arcs in terms of looks and sound but not the price. The Dyns were almost as good for a third of the price so they came home with me and stayed for over 17 years until they were replaced by Spendor A7’s earlier this year.
As the Dynaudio’s (to my ears) sounded very similar to Arcs, my recommendation would be to give them a listen though they do like lots of space to breathe. I found the Spendors to be similar, though more refined, detailed and better on vocals plus they’re compact for a floor stander and at £4k give or take, well within the OP’s budget.
Like you I always regarded JBL as being a bit of a non-contender as far as real hi-fi goes. But they make some incredibly expensive speakers (£45K and £70+K) which according to reviews I’ve seen are second to none. Their Classic series has excellent reviews - niche products for sure but if you like what they do then probably unbeatable for the money.
Why not try a sub or two with your WB Arcs. It might surprise/delight you how transformative subs can be to the lower end and soundstage.
Very many thanks - I greatly value your knowledge and experiene - and that of others on here - it is far greater than mine .
Looking at a power unit for the CDX 2 I have found a pre loved XP5 XS . Any good or no comparison to a XPS ?
I can also source an Olive XPS reasonably and the Naim website says thats compatible with the CDX2 . Would you steer clear because of a mismatch or age ?
An XP5XS is the only naim ps I found added nothing (to an NDX). Literally heard no difference at all.
Forget the XP5XS. A black XPS2 is the one to go for. It has a bigger transformer and was designed to go with the CDX2. It makes the CDP a far nicer and more natural machine. Without the PS it can be a bit strident and unnatural.
Vivid Audio and Naim are a match made in heaven. Enjoy the search.
There is a pair of new Spendor D7.2 's available if you search the hifi selling sites.
The CDX2 is a pretty good CD player but the top end needs to be tamed - the addition of an external power supply will do that.