ON THIS PAGE
My Free, In-Depth Masterclass
My Ultimate Guide to Studying
How-To Study Guides
All posts by date
Our goal at AVStore is to not only provide our customers with high quality AV gear but also ensure that what people buy is exactly the type of system that will deliver the kind of performance that meets expectations. Having our in-house experience center definitely helps our team as it aids us in experiencing all sorts of AV gear at a deeper level allowing us to understand synergy and pairing aspects between different equipment.
We would like to share such moments via our Case Studies Series, that will not only share the details of how we helped our customers get what they are looking for but at the same time share our knowledge that can help you in finding and building the perfect system for your space.
GETTING TO KNOW OUR CUSTOMER BETTER
In this particular case, we received an inquiry from a potential client for a stereo system that tentatively comprised of the following:
- Amplification & Source: Cambridge Audio EVO 150
- Speakers: Focal Aria series (model undecided)
After initial discussions on his requirement with our team, we learned that the client was a Captain of a ship, which made it difficult for him to demo audio systems as he spent a lot of time sailing and he felt like he had to make up his mind primarily based on what he read online. Additionally, he had limited time on hand once he arrived home as he would have to go back to sea within a month or two. The captain shared some information about his room, seating position and his specific tastes with regards to music, he also shared that he used to play the piano during his school days and was even part of a band in college which forged a very intimate connection with music in his life. What further piqued his interest in buying a stereo for himself was his experience of listening to music on his friend's stereo set up.
We decided to first zero in on the specific model of speakers he would like to buy as it would make sense to then advise on the ideal amplifier that can do justice for the particular pair of speakers. Since the Captain was open to suggestions from our team, we recommended he consider something like Dynaudio Contour 30, the JBL Synthesis HDI 3800 or the Monitor Audio Gold/Platinum 300 and since the Captain had experience with Dynaudio speakers in his car audio system which he loved the sound of, the Contour 30 would be the ideal option to go for as it is a speaker that can deliver immersive stereo performance and at the same time we wouldn't be shooting in the dark completely as there is some reference of sound signature, based on which we were able to come to a conclusion.
SPEAKER FINALISED, ONTO THE AMPLIFIER!
After the speaker selection was confirmed, we now had to figure out the ideal amplifier, which made the Evo 150 from Cambridge Audio the ideal candidate for the job. Since the Evo 150 offers an all-in-one solution with Hypex NCore Class D amplification, we could trust it to drive something like the Contour 30’s and it would also make the whole system very cost effective.
In the mean time, the Captain made a discovery while reading some online articles about the possibility of adding a subwoofer into the chain. While we initially considered options such as the SVS Sound 3000 Micro or the KEF KC62, we decided not to proceed with those options as we discovered that the Dynaudio Sub 6 contains special functionally for residential HiFi stereo applications.
The Dynaudio Sub 6 has special presets programmed by Dynaudio itself for a few models of Dynaudio speakers which essentially make the subwoofer behave like a 3rd bass driver unit of the bookshelf/tower speaker rather than a separate sub. Using the right preset with the Sub 6 makes the whole Dynaudio system sound very holistically complete and not a lot of other HiFi brands offer a solution for bass management in this manner for stereo applications.
THE CHALLENGE AHEAD
We could no longer have the Cambridge Audio EVO150 in the chain since the only way to make use of the DSP crossover preset on the Sub 6 is via RCA/XLR outputs. So we went back to the drawing board to re-think the amplification for this system. In order to make this work, we needed a power amplifier with balanced inputs to connect the XLR outputs from the Sub 6 to it and we ideally also needed a pre-amplifier with balanced outputs to the sub 6 XLR inputs and hence came up with the following solution:
- Cambridge Audio CXN V2 as a source and pre-amp.
- Lyngdorf Audio SDA-2400 as the power amplifier as it featured the right amount of inputs an outputs required and it also boasts a whooping 400 Watts @ 4 ohms.
- An RME ADI-2 DAC FS to further improve the digital to analogue conversion along with the ability to make use of a built-in graphic EQf to add more control over the sound.
- AudioQuest PowerQuest 2 Power Conditioner/Distribution Outlet to which all the electronics were routed so we left nothing to chance with the overall sound quality and were able to have appropriate safe guarding of the system.
In terms of connectivity routing, we wanted to make use of XLR all the way and we made use of the balanced XLR outputs of the CXN V2 that goes into the Dynaudio Sub 6 balanced XLR inputs, then the balanced XLR output from the Sub 6 goes into the Lyngdorf SDA-2400 power amplifier.
Last But Not The Least - Cabling!
Something that is usually never given much thought in the process but is something that is most important is Cables!
AudioQuest Cables have been part of many HiFi systems as people around the globe trust the brand to extract the maximum performance for their HiFi system. In this case, we curated a mix of AudioQuest cables that would be great starting points and do justice to the equipment in the system.
For the speaker cable we choose the Rocket 33 speaker cable which does a great job of retaining mids and highs whilst allowing bass information to pass through with ease at the same time. As for interconnects, the Red River XLR interconnects in our opinion does a good job of matching with the Rocket series from AudioQuest and is a great starting point for a system of this level and for the source which was the RME ADI-2 DAC FS we used a Forest Co-axial cable. Lastly, we also added a pair of IsoAcoustics Gaia 2 speaker isolators which allows to extract more accurate bass from the speaker and reduce the unwanted vibrations coming out and going back into the system deteriorating the sound.
This setup is a testimony to how our team revels in delivering great stereo experiences for our customers who are equally enthusiastic about traveling the journey of HiFi and exploring possibilities together. We had a great time putting this system together and the final cherry on the top was in the form of the delighted Captain’s words:
“I have never heard bass like this in my life”.