Help with my first ,budget, audiophile system

George Tanu

New Member
May 20, 2020
1
0
1
34
Hi everybody. I'm a new/inexperienced Audiophile and I would like to get some information I've been trying to get my head around.

My plan is to set a new Hi-Fi system in my living room for very little money. I have a Cambridge Audio Azur 340a SE integrated amplifier, a pair of mission 702e speakers and I'm interested in playing only digital music from my mobile phone (Tidal MQA to be more specific) but later a move to vinyl etc.

My dilemma is technical. I am plugging my smartphone thorough a DAC dongle to the RCA Aux on the Amp. I can see that I can play 16bit/24bit 44kz music though the phone and the sound on my Mission speakers is quite good, lush, details, musical but I know I'm limited my the little DAC dongle that can only do 24bit max. Recently I bought a pair of Klipsch RP-600M speakers and plugged them to the Amp and playing the music the same way(phone dongle-RCA aux). Now the issue is that it feels like the Klipsch are worst sounding that the old Mission 702e(treble is harsh , all sounds feel a bit artificial, almost like a playing music on the radio and If I turn the volume past half , everything seems muddled and looses detail, treble crackles and I lose detail)
Also bought a NAD 316bee amplifier as I have seen on YouTube that it pairs very well with my new Klipsch, and to see if it's better than the Azur 340a SE

So my question is, is it a limitation of my Amplifier or do I crucially need an External DAC/network streamer. I was looking at the node 2i for an "All in one budget, streamer that can play MQA though Tidal ) OR is there another option that is similarly good to play though my phone, but on a budget way.

My confusion is that I don't know where my bottleneck is and what are my clear and defined budget options and very importantly, what's the best way to connect all these I need(phone to DAC, to streamer to Amplifier etc)

Going though different forums has made it even harder for me to find where my problem is in my system. If anyone has a budget streamer setup for want I'm looking for, please help. Thank you and sorry for the lost post.
 

sbnx

Well-Known Member
Mar 28, 2017
694
551
205
Depends on your budget but the new moon river 404 integrated. Nice sound and it’s 50W. Would easily drive your klipsh. With a built in DAC it is close to $4k. Could use something like a blue note streamer and control from your phone.
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
8,767
921
590
Metro DC
I assume this system is not primary.
If you are so inclined I can make more specific suggestions.
I am thinking an integrated tube amp or SET. To keep the cost down you will need an efficient speaker. There are some nice horn hybrids around.
 
Last edited:

Tim F

Well-Known Member
Jun 11, 2018
125
43
113
What is your budget for this? Most people I've met on this forum are spending huge sums hence an immediate $4k suggestion!

You will hit issues with spending roughly £200 on amps, then switching for other amps again in this price range. You'll get trade offs. Simplest advice in this area is to save up and jump out of that price range. There are leaps in audio quality under £1000 as you go up.

Your phone will be ok on a very basic system but worth upgrading to a streamer dac when you can.
 

Addicted to hifi

VIP/Donor
Sep 8, 2020
4,613
2,015
265
51
Australia
Hi everybody. I'm a new/inexperienced Audiophile and I would like to get some information I've been trying to get my head around.

My plan is to set a new Hi-Fi system in my living room for very little money. I have a Cambridge Audio Azur 340a SE integrated amplifier, a pair of mission 702e speakers and I'm interested in playing only digital music from my mobile phone (Tidal MQA to be more specific) but later a move to vinyl etc.

My dilemma is technical. I am plugging my smartphone thorough a DAC dongle to the RCA Aux on the Amp. I can see that I can play 16bit/24bit 44kz music though the phone and the sound on my Mission speakers is quite good, lush, details, musical but I know I'm limited my the little DAC dongle that can only do 24bit max. Recently I bought a pair of Klipsch RP-600M speakers and plugged them to the Amp and playing the music the same way(phone dongle-RCA aux). Now the issue is that it feels like the Klipsch are worst sounding that the old Mission 702e(treble is harsh , all sounds feel a bit artificial, almost like a playing music on the radio and If I turn the volume past half , everything seems muddled and looses detail, treble crackles and I lose detail)
Also bought a NAD 316bee amplifier as I have seen on YouTube that it pairs very well with my new Klipsch, and to see if it's better than the Azur 340a SE

So my question is, is it a limitation of my Amplifier or do I crucially need an External DAC/network streamer. I was looking at the node 2i for an "All in one budget, streamer that can play MQA though Tidal ) OR is there another option that is similarly good to play though my phone, but on a budget way.

My confusion is that I don't know where my bottleneck is and what are my clear and defined budget options and very importantly, what's the best way to connect all these I need(phone to DAC, to streamer to Amplifier etc)

Going though different forums has made it even harder for me to find where my problem is in my system. If anyone has a budget streamer setup for want I'm looking for, please help. Thank you and sorry for the lost post.
Welcome George to wbf.
 

steve59

Well-Known Member
Jan 7, 2018
272
47
115
Spend $250 on a pair of headphones.
 

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