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Amp recommendation (paired with ascend audio sierra 1s and schiit gungnir)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I currently have ascend sierra 1s, an arcam rDac and a cambridge audio azur 351A.

 

I am about to pull the trigger on a schiit gungnir (looking at the Schiit and concero HD, I like the idea of being able to upgrade on the Schiit).

 

Any suggestions on an amp that would go well with this set up?

 

I suppose I would like to keep it to $1,000 but I would prefer not having to upgrage any time soon, so if a bit more than that gets me something really good I would consider it.

 

I have everything set up in one area, so no long cables running anywhere - given this should I consider a amp/pre-amp set up instead?

 

I understand the difficulty in making recommendations like this.  My taste in music is quite varied.  I like balanced sound, not something where any part is exagerrated.

 

What I am looking for out of this is to end up with a list of a few or several amps that I can then research.

 

Thank you.


Edited by bracque - 4/26/14 at 10:22pm
post #2 of 5
So the Schiit Gungnir is replacing the Arcam rDac? And then you want a new speaker amp? Or headphone amp?

Personally, before replacing the Cambridge speaker amp, I would buy the components from Ascend and do the Sierra-2 upgrade to your speakers.

And then, because I like music that has bass below 60hz where the Sierra-2s (and 1s) start to roll off, I'd get a really good Rythmik or SVS sub biggrin.gif

Sorry if this wasn't the advice you were looking for smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by cel4145 - 4/27/14 at 12:54pm
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

Yes, the I thinking first step is to replace the arcam with a gungnir (most likely, still looking at concera HD too).

 

After that I assumed my weak point would be the amp (integrated amp, not headphone amp)  I did not even know there was a sierra 2 upgrade.  I guess there is always more to spend!

 

So new amp, possible upgrade to Sierra 2, possible sub.  Now I have three things to think about.  Although my wife will curse you, I thank you for the tips.

 

In checking out the subs on ascend (they sell Rythmik), in the audiophile selection, costs difference between the 12 and 15 would seem to be small, which would you recommend?  I am assuming 15 over 12, in that case the normal sealed 15 or the downfiring one?  I am not sure what the difference would be in sound.  Or would you go SVS?

 

And since I have you here, assuming I take care of the above I am back to my amp question... any tips?

 

Thanks a lot!

post #4 of 5
I don't know much about amps that would be an improvement over the Cambridge. I'm in the speaker upgrade offers the best performance group, which is why I mentioned the Sierra 2. Ascend has a forum. You might see if people there recommend the amp or the speaker upgrade first.

The main differences between the Rythmik sealed 12 and 15" subs is driver size and amp power (some come with more powerful amps) which is all about the max output level. Sub performance is affected by room size, and of course the volume at which you listen. So while the basic 12" Rythmik might do well at louder volumes in a bedroom, it might have problems in a 3,000 cubic ft room. Downfiring vs front firing is more of a placement need or aesthetic preference than important in SQ choice since bass is unidirectional.

The Rythmik drivers have a reputation for a bit better SQ than the SVS because of the direct servo technology, but the SVS sealed subs are no slouches. Plus the SVS lower end models sealed subs are very compact--good choice when WAF won't allow bigger subs. SVS also has an amazing warranty and trade up policy--even an in home demo which is free shipping both ways. The Rhythmiks come with sophisticated PEQ controls if you are into that kind of fine tuning of sub performance.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much!

 

I live in Dubai so home trials are not an option.  I come to the US once a year for business so normally have product sent to my hotel and then bring it home.

 

I'll check on the Ascend forum, I have not purchased the DAC yet either, my guess is the best upgrade route would be DAC and Sierra 2 (not necessarily in that order), then worry about the rest in a year.

 

When I do get to the sub I'll so some more research, but I suppose Ascend being a distributor of Rythmik is a pretty good endorsement.  I was thinking of going the 15 route.  I am not too worried about placement as I will most likely move home in a year or two so I suppose I can just go for the normal sealed one.

 

Thanks.

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