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Soliloquy or Epos?

 

New member
Username: The13thgryphon

Spokane, WA

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jul-04
I'm looking at setting up a second system in my den after the holidays. I listen to jazz, blues, rock (mostly classic, no hard core/heavy metal), Americana/folk, classical... a wide variety. My budget is $2,500... including cables, stands, etc., if possible... though I could stretch another hundred to two if I had to.

I'm looking for a system that will give me detail, without getting clinical... and although I love bass I'm more interested in tight, tuneful bass than slam and extension. I'm really looking for a system where voices will shine. I also don't typically like metal dome tweeters. I generally prefer silk dome tweeters or ribbons. My home theater is based around Magnepan planar speakers (1.6 QR fronts, CC3 center, and MC1 surrounds).

I think I've finally come down to two possibilities for the amp/CD combo:

Option 1: NAD C352 / C542 -- around $900

Option 2: Marantz PM-7200 / AH! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 -- around $1,200

Unfortunately, I've only heard the Njoe Tjoeb 4000 once, and not in combination with the PM-7200.

I've pretty much locked onto either the Soliloquy 5.0 ($1,500 with their stands) or Epos M12.2 monitors (around $1,000 with stands). Both provide rich, glorious sound.

I don't generally like metal dome tweeters. Silk domes have always been my favorite... but the Epos aluminum dome tweeter sounds sweet and yet has good detail without becoming harsh like most metal domes I've heard. At least on the expensive equipment that I've heard them on. Unfortunately, I've not been able to listen to them on the NAD rig. They certainly sound wonderful on tubed equipment, which I could afford (Marantz/Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player at least... or maybe a Musical Fidelity X-10 buffer stage with the NAD stuff) if I go with the Epos speakers.

On the other hand the Soliloquy's definitely have a draw in terms of overall presentation and delivery. They are smooth yet dynamic, and just ooze class. But they cost 50% more, and I wouldn't be able to afford the tubed-output CD player (or X-10 tubed buffer) if I get them. I'd have to go with the NAD combo.

Your thoughts?
 

New member
Username: Sdc

Post Number: 10
Registered: Dec-04
I am confused the totals you show add up to $3100.00 or $3600.00 and you say your budget is $2500.00 and maybe you could stretch another hundred or two.
 

New member
Username: The13thgryphon

Spokane, WA

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jul-04
Yep, I think you are confused. How does a $900 NAD combo and a $1,500 pair of Soliloquy speaks add up to either $3,100 or $3,600? According to the "old" math I learned in school that would come to $2,400... plus cables.

And the Marantz / Ah! / Epos system would come to $2,200... plus cables.

Even if I went with the most expensive combo - Marantz / Ah! / Soliloquy - it would only add up to $2,700... again, plus cables.

How about a comment on the gear, and leave the math to me. No offense intended.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sdc

Post Number: 11
Registered: Dec-04
Sorry for the mindless moment
 

New member
Username: The13thgryphon

Spokane, WA

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jul-04
Not an issue. Humans are prone to make mistakes... it's in our nature. I've made one or two in my lifetime. (take that last statement with a VERY large grain of salt)
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 249
Registered: Sep-04
I'm way over in the UK so I'm not sure about prices in the US. I know the EPOS's and they're fine speakers. Rhythmical and energetic with real life to the music. Ensure you buy them with the somehwat old-fashioned looking matching EPOS stands. I tried these speakers on a variety of stands and they sounded dead until I put them on their own ones when they came alive. No idea why!

I'm not a fan of the Japanese amplifiers. Here's a few suggestions with English prices. As you pointed out so clearly earlier, you have a grasp of maths so I'll let you work out the values where you come from although the local dealer markup may make a nonsense of the numbers.

I wonder if you might be able to find makes such as Rega and Arcam in your area? Rega's entry level Brio retails for £300 and would drive the Epos speakers reasonably well. They also come from the same philosophy of emphasising pace, rhythm and timing which would suit. The Arcam A65+ is a bit of a weedy amp but the A80 is another good performer. If you can stretch to a Naim amp like the Nait5i (£699) then the EPOS's will think they've come home to roost since this is a strong combination. Factor in Naim's own cable at £8/m with a minimum of 3.5 metres a side for best results.

As to source (the most important part of the equation, you could do far worse than a Naim CD player but they start at £825. Rega make an excellent machine called the Planet at about £550 and Arcam's CD73T is also a very good catch at about £400.

I know I haven't commented on your components but this is because I don't know them. I do know the Marantz brand and its presentation of music and it's not for me, being unconvincing and unengaging in my view. The electronics I mention above provide a very different musical experience to the one that you would get with what you suggested and I think it would be a more musical enjoyable and engaging result.

Of course, this is just my opinion, so feel free to ignore it...

Frank.
 

New member
Username: The13thgryphon

Spokane, WA

Post Number: 8
Registered: Jul-04
Frank,

Thank you for your suggestions. I have been intrigued with both the Rega and Arcam lines. They are not available here in town, but there are dealers for both in Seattle. Unfortunately, that's about 270 miles west of here... al the way on the other side of the state.

Oh well, maybe I'll just have to be paitent until I can get over there sometime after the first of the year and check them both out.

I just read a review of the recently updated Arcam 75+. It was a pip according to HiFi Choice.

Question: I've picked up copies of HiFi Choice, HiFi News, and What HiFi Sound & Vision here in the States from time to time. But they don't always seem to agree as to which equipment comes out on top. Do you have an opinion on which of these sources of information is the most accurate and unbiased?

Regards,
John
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