Ideas for separates around $1500???

Hi all,

Sorry for the slightly confused post...

Trying to get a new amp for our living room and our current piece is just not working out ( Exposure 2010S -- too much RFI around our house -- just listed it here on Audiogon).

If I go integrated, we am interested in trying the Naim Nait 5i, but after reading this months TAS, I am intrigued by their match-up of the Odyssey Khartago and the Vincent SA-31. Combined, these are around the same price as the Nait, and will give me a touch of tubes, which I like, without the heat of the a full tube amplifier (infants and lots of exposed tubes didn't agree with each other)

What does the collective think? Any other ideas?
What speakers are you using? How big is your room?
Sorry -- speakers are Quad 21l2. Room is around 12 by 25. but l shaped with a dining room off one end. Source is music hall cdp 25.2
( Exposure 2010S -- too much RFI around our house -- ).

Just curious here,but could you elaborate on this statement a bit more.
There is only one place in our house for our stereo -- against two windows and under a bunch of power lines. Not to mention radio transmitters nearby. I tried a few things, changing interconnects, speaker wire, etc.. and it is just not a good fit -- I need something with a different build I guess. Plus I would rather spend time searching for a new speaker than go down a rathole of power conditioners, RFI tweaks, etc....
Martyw,if the RFI is that bad,I don't think new seperates(OP)or speakers(2nd post) will help.I could be wrong,have been before.Good luck with your search.
Thanks -- I'll keep searching....
i agree -- don't see how changing equipment will help with that. check out for some RF shielding
Have you looked into these:


do a search on Audio Asylum, if you're handy with a soldering iron you can make your own. Or 30 day home trial for $109.


ERS cloth from musicdirect.

The ET product I have. It definitely brought out the highs. Wasn't a night and day difference in my system, but I'm not going to return them.

The ERS cloth just across my DAC helped. I haven't had a chance to put it inside the component like you're suppose to. Just fooling around, but it did make a difference.

Although my girlfriend said she did like the change... it was too sparkly she said... I think she was just in a mood and being a contrarian.

Thanks for the ideas. Out of curiosity though, aren't some amps better/worse than others for dealing with RFI, independent of how good they are as an amplifier? It is a great stereophile class A amp, but for whatever reason, it is just picking up RFI when my Jolida tube amp didn't?
Marty...I am still unsure how you have determined that it is an RFI issue for sure? Secondly, if it is an RFI issue, not sure why you view RFI shielding through the use of power conditioners that have that feature or through other RFI shielding tweaks is a "rathole" any more than replacing your unit for separates. Just trying to better understand how you have arrived at your conclusions.
Hi Cmalak,

Maybe it isn't, but I just got fed up with tinkering. Plus, and maybe this is the bigger issue really, I missed the sound of my tube amp. Thus I don't have the incentive to keep swapping things in and out if I'm not 100% happy with the sound anyway. Plus it is a class-A, well reviewed amp, that I will (hopefully) be able to sell here without losing any money.

Reason for thinking about separates is that I can try a tube pre-amp and a solid state power amp. I used to have a full tube amp (Jolida 302) but given than we have an infant, the exposed tubes seemed like a bad idea.

That is how I got to the idea of the Odyssey Khartago and the Vincent pre-amp combo as mentioned in the TAS this month.
Got it Marty. That makes it clear. The good news is Odyssey Audio sells direct and offers a 30-day money back guarantee. So you can always try that and return it if it doesn't work out for you. You can also get the Vincent preamp from Audio Advisor, and they too have a 30-day money back guarantee if you chose not to keep. There is no better way than to try it out and see if it works for you Marty. Good luck.
Thanks -- any other seperate combos I should think about?
i tried the axiom passive pre incredible piece ($165) two outlaw m2200 amps ($375 used), kg4s(used Craigs/List $150)a p/c audio card($160)some supra cables($12,speaker)stream live off the internet listen all day the axiom w/my cd deck you will be shocked if nothing else try the axiom good luck
Perhaps using equipment that is fully balanced and/or with low input sensitivity and high output coupled with properly dressed shielded cables might be a way to start.
I recently acquired Rotel separates for about that price new from a dealer (the recently discontinued 130 w/ch amp and the better preamp) - I am very impressed. For the money, they are very, very good.
I was coming from much more expensive integrated's (McIntosh, Rowland) and planning on keeping this as a short term solution until I decided what I wanted to do next. I'll probably end up keeping the Rotel for a lot longer than I thought I would.
I agree with the above poster on Rotel. I have never used any of their equipment before. I purchased the intro "15"
series entry combo (1550?1582) for one of my systems for less than $1500. I do have Mcintosh in my main system and have used some real big names.

Once the system broke in I thought it was an exceptional value and I am very impressed. Quite articulate for the money.
Buy used. Great opportunities abound, including here on A'Gon.
Thanks -- I solved the RFI, btw -- it was the solid core DMN cables -- bizarre. Still selling it though, I miss the tubes.
Man, nobody thought of that, should have been the first thing -- the cables. Prob because you thought it was the equipment, which led everyone down that path. I believe DNM are unshielded? If so, it explains it.

At any rate, living under the electrical you do and with your recent revelation you're going to need some decent shielding! At least you found the culprit.
See,you saved yourself a lot of unneccesary spending.I would say that's a good thing.
Tholt, uhumm, "nobody thought of that"?
whoops -- missed your cable comment. I believe Unsound is the winner here.

Forgive me -- "fully balanced and/or with low input senstivity" is somewhat greek to me. What does that mean? What kind of equipment should I be considering?
Fully balanced is also refered to differentially balanced gear. Balanced gear is the standard used for pro equipment, and inherently rejects outside noise, especially for longer runs. Balanced gear uses XLR connectors instead of RCA's. Not all XLR connectors are part of truly balanced gear, even in that case they might help in your situation, though purists might object to an additional conversion process.
Gear with a low input sensitivity will require a higher input voltage to provide maximum out-put. As such they are less likely to amplify external noise. In the past most European gear was highly sensitive while American and Japanese gear were less sensitive.
In pro gear the balanced connections conform to a standard. In consumer geat their is less conformity.