Quantcast

new member -- opinions on upgrade?

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

Help Support MartinLogan Owners (MLO):

D

dankinaz

Guest
As an ML owner I'm happy to find this site!

I've had a pair of ReQuests for about 6 years, still love them and plan to keep them. However, I want to upgrade other parts of my system. I'm looking for some opinions about what I should investigate first in an upgrade (please don't say "all of it" !).

ReQuests
Philips SACD1000 (stock)
Conrad Johnson Pre-amp PV10
Sunfire (standard) solid state power amp
AudioQuest cabling (midnight for speakers, I think), biwired

A few comments about the room: it's about 17'x19' w/ 10' ceilings. THe front wall is adobe (earthen) w/ irregular surface, and it seems to be the best wall they've ever had behind them in terms of no vibration, etc. THe speakers are out about 36" from the front wall and toed in. I've experimented with placement, and continue to do so.

I've always felt that the Sunfire amp purchase was a mistake, just not a good match with the system. However, I see a few people on this site using Sunfire Cinema line. Ideally I'd like to find an amp that would be good enough for stereo - audiophile listening (2 channels) and also switchable to multiple channnels for movies,e tc. But, my priority is for the music -- ie., what can really spank these ReQuests and make them sing?

Thanks in advance for your opinions. Dan.
 

kach22i

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
1,850
Reaction score
7
Location
Michigan
dankinaz said:
Conrad Johnson Pre-amp PV10
Sunfire (standard) solid state power amp
Small tweek could be interconnect and speaker wire up grade. Lots of threads on that - I'm a Nordost guy, put the old Audio Quest stuff to H.T. duty.

Conrad Johnson has been advertising some H.T. friendly tube preamps that look pretty cool, that could be one direction to look into.

The amp is a big question, for myself I just could not see heating up the whole room with a 100 watt tube amp just to watch TV or play a movie. So I seperated out my H.T. system from the 2-channel stereo and have been happy with that.

Soild state for H.T. and Tubes for stereo, works for me.

Perhaps you could put the Sunfire to H.T. (Home Theater) duty along with some one elses trade-in stuff (used) and seperate out your equipment.

EDIT: Looks in Member's systems to get ideas - listed by speaker model.

http://www.martinloganowners.com/~tdacquis/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=17
 
Last edited:

Spike

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
754
Reaction score
16
Location
SF Bay Area
Welcome

First, welcome to the club. The Sunfire is no slouch and is definitely NOT a mistake. If you want to take the ReQuests to a different level, you should explore bi-amping with tubes on the panels and the Sunfire on the woofers. You can take a look at my system to get an idea of bi-amping ReQuests. After that is done, then you can explore upgrading the pre-amp, and source. The possibilities are endless.

Spike
 

jjcarr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
120
Reaction score
0
You might want to consider a digital amp, but with the ReQuests, you'd normally want to biamp them. My BelCanto 200.2 drove the ReQuests well, but they would probably be better served by a vertical biamp, or running the amps bridged. A 200.4 or pair of 200.2's would provide an excellent upgrade, for under $2k used (not counting what you can sell the Sunfire for)

However, if you're willing to work a soldering iron, you will get a bigger bang for the buck doing the crossover upgrade detailed in the tweeks section. I did the upgrade and it makes a noticable difference.
 

Robin

Well-known member
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
3,304
Reaction score
3
Location
Camano Island, Washington
The first up-grade...

Dan,

Welcome to the ML Club!

IMHO, Audioquest cabling is good to start. I would consintrate on the amplifier, if I was you... ;)
Is your Sunfire amplifier a stereo amplifier? How many watts / channel? IMHO, You might want to keep your current Sunfire, even if it is a stereo amp., and audition a Sunfire Cinema ~ seven 400 watt or the Sunfire Cinema ~ seven 200 watt amplifier, and bi-amp your fronts, in your home, to see how that sounds. The other channels would be for HT when you eventually up-grade to HT with more ML speakers... :) That might be a more economical way to go depending on weather or not you like what you hear...

Their are always good Sunfire Cinema multi-channel, as well as other amplifier deals to be had on Audiogon to save even more money. I would recommend auditioning the Sunfire Cinema ("D" Class) multi-channel amp.'s first in your home, then if possible listen to other "A" Class amplifiers like: Cary Cinema X, or the Butler 5150 Hybrid, BelCanto, Anthem Statment P5 or P2, Sim Audio Moon Aurora or Moon Titan (depending on your budget), before you make a finial decission. Remember, "Trust your ears". Untimately, it has to sound good to you... :D

It is good to have you here.

Cheers

-Robin
 

Jeff Zaret

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
1
Location
Lancaster,Ca
Dan,
Welcome.
I think there are some questions to be answered that we have posted for you. Such as what type of music do you listen to and how much power is the Sunfire. I think so far there have been some good suggestions.

I think you are where I was a while back. I perfer music first then HT. I built my system around 2 channel and the expanded to a HT setup. You can check my system out and I think the pictures are close to what I have now. I keep moving things around and changing equipment (not lately gang) but you can get an idea. Mine is probably more cumbersome than most but it works for me.

I like Conrad Johnson stuff and I maybe one of the few people here who has some but there are many execellent brands as well. I did have the PV 10BL which I recently traded in and bought a used Premier 17LS. This was a big change in sound.

My suggestion is you should ask a lot of questions, go slow, do not try to follow others, buy what you can afford and as many have stated and you will "hear" it many times here, "trust your ears".

Again welcome

Jeff :cool:
 

Sky Saw

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
97
Reaction score
0
Location
Toronto, Canada
Hi Dan, and welcome!

Your system sounds pretty nice as is, but if you are looking to upgrade...

I think your setup would work very nicely with a Blue Circle hybrid amp like the BC24, BC28, or one of the newer 200 series amps. You can occasionally find a BC28 used on Audiogon, but I have no idea what your budget is. If you are looking to get holographic imaging and incredible timbre from your system, Blue Circle is hard to beat, and there was a forum member (maybe the old forum) who had Requests, and went nuts when he connected a BC28 to it (I too am biased, as I have a BC28 with Ascents, and could not be happier).

You could continue to use the Sunfire for HT, or sell it.
 

kwr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
301
Reaction score
0
Location
Sydney Australia
dankinaz said:
As an ML owner I'm happy to find this site!

I've had a pair of ReQuests for about 6 years, still love them and plan to keep them. However, I want to upgrade other parts of my system. I'm looking for some opinions about what I should investigate first in an upgrade (please don't say "all of it" !).

ReQuests
Philips SACD1000 (stock)
Conrad Johnson Pre-amp PV10
Sunfire (standard) solid state power amp
AudioQuest cabling (midnight for speakers, I think), biwired

. But, my priority is for the music -- ie., what can really spank these ReQuests and make them sing?

Thanks in advance for your opinions. Dan.
I think you have already got runs on the board if you have a good speaker/room combination.

John Marks in Stereophool ranked the factors that influence how your stereo sounds thus:

1 - Room Acoustics
2- Interaction between your speakers and room
3 - Listening Position
4 - The sound of Your Loudspeakers
5 - The source material
6 - Source Components
7 - Amplification
8 - The adequacy and cleanness of your wall current
9 - Cables (speaker, ic's and power)

And by extension via a comment made in another column:

10 - Supports.

I have only heard a modded Phillips and have not heard your specific Sunfire amp. Martin Logans respond to quality power. In your place my order of equipment upgrade would be power amp, dedicated power circuit, source, preamp with ht bypass and then consider adding on for ht later. Set up the system for musical satisfaction first and the ht will be good to great. If you set up with ht being the priority musicality is difficult.

There are a lot of choices and personal biases out there. Are you able to give us any idea of budget, musical tastes, preference in tone etc.

Personally my system setup is biased to warmth and resolution at low to moderate volumes. Clearly my solution won't suit everyone. Make sure your solution suits you and is not dictated by fashion, review, pushy dealer... if it works in your room stick with it.

Kevin
 

jfm

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
308
Reaction score
0
I definitely agree with the top 3 in the list. You already have number 4 covered extremely well. The rest of the list, yeah, I'm ok with that too.

So my answer would be to look at room treatments. IME traps and panels made a great improvement, and gave me a good basis from which to continue upgrading.
 
R

Rob Ran

Guest
A Great upgrade I've just finished was adding power

I wasn't sure how much of an upgrade adding Audiophile's 700 power regenerator into the mix would be, but they had a money back guarantee that I wanted to take advantage of. I purchased it in June hooked it up to the right speaker amp and left the other amp plugged into the wall. When I sat down all I can say is WOW! The High's were higher on the right speaker, low's deeper, everything in the mid range perfect. The ReQuest's just started to sing - It's the best upgrade that I could have made for the money! The detail up & down rose about 20%. I sat my son down and asked him when he came home, if he could tell any difference? He looked at me, smiled and said, "the right speaker has a bigger, fuller sound"!

System:
ReQuests Front L & R
Theater Center
The rest of the speakers are not good enough to mention

VTL 450 tube amps for ReQuests & Theater speaker

Lexicon DC1 preamp

Sony DVD, CD player

I have purchased another unit from Audiophile, their 1050. Now the whole system is singing! Hope this helps - Rob
 
D

dankinaz

Guest
thanks!

thanks for all your comments!

I'll check into some of the amps mentioned, and pay more attention to the room. I'm curious about what room treatments would do. and about what different cables would do. A while ago I bought all the component parts to build Jon Risch's speaker cable, but haven't got around to assembling them. Has anybody on this board tried these cables?

Thanks agian for your opinions and pointers. Dan.
 

kach22i

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
1,850
Reaction score
7
Location
Michigan
Dan/dankinaz,

Post some pictures of your system either here or in the "Members Systems" area to get proper feedback on room acoustics.

Seems to me a lot of people here respect the Sunfire name and are encouraging you to look at your complete system. The challenge makes it more fun. :)
 
R

Rob Ran

Guest
The need for two

My system has ten power cords or 10 pieces and I am powering all of them thru the Audiophile 700 & 1050; each has 6 power outlets. I use the 1050 on my power hungry amps and the 700 for my cd, dvd, lexicon preamp, etc. As in the review mentioned above, if you power an individual unit you will notice a difference; but if you power everything it was a great difference in my system. Understanding that when the power sags, so does high end gears performance. Everything flattens, the sound stage get's smaller.

All I can tell you is that it's the best investment I've made, as it allows the ReQuest's & VTL's to sing!

Also, I was talking with Richard at Audiophile and he mentioned that if you hook this up to your new digital TV, DLP or Plasma, that their is a great improvement in the picture quality. Also, you have the battery back up for when the power goes out.
Good listening all - Rob
 

tonyc

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2005
Messages
683
Reaction score
0
Location
Waco, TX
Prior to last month I would have encouraged you to upgrade one of your electronic components. Now I would say room treatment. What changed my mind? My wife bought me ASC tube traps for Christmas. I am still reeling from the magnitude of the improvement in sound I got. The increase in intelligibility of vocals was stunning, as was the increase in soundstaging depth, width and height. I did NOT lose alot of bass, I gained real SLAM. I am talking the difference between my prior LLano to my Rowland amp in terms of magnitude. You have good stuff-I say it's time to find out just how good.
 

DTB300

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
2,146
Reaction score
0
Location
Fallout 3 Land
tonyc said:
Prior to last month I would have encouraged you to upgrade one of your electronic components. Now I would say room treatment.
Room Treatment is one of the least understood aspects of audio, and one of the last changes someone will think of doing.

Some resistance has to do with the "better half" (husband or wife) fighting the changes in the looks of the room. Room treatments are not high on the list of stellar Interior Decroating. When was the last time you saw acoustic treatments in Beautiful Homes magainze, or Country Living?

As room treatments have become more of an understood science, there are more and more forums and companies out there to help out even the basic home audiophile with improvements in their room.

Then there are the room EQ systems by Tact for the entire frequency range, and Velodyne's for the bass response.

Dan
 
Top