Is my setup mid-fi or hi-fi?

Parasound Halo P3
Parasound Halo A21
JPS Labs Superconductor2 BiWire Cable
JPS Labs Superconductor2 Balanced XLR Interconnects
Totem Acoustic Mani-2 Signatures
Totem Acoustic T4L Stands
Totem Acoustic Beaks (2 pair)

I have yet to deceide on a CDP, and the JPS Labs stuff is shipping right now. Is my setup considered mid-level or hi-end to users on this board and what do you think is my weakest link? And what should I be looking at for CDP's?
How about mid-hi?

I have a neighbor who can't place her order at the restaurant without asking the waitress what she would eat and whether each and every entree is good! Who cares what someone else thinks? Decide for yourself. Does it sound good? Do you go off into la-la land while listening? Can you afford other things in your life or have you spent 1/2 a year's salary on your hi-fi/mid-fi/low-fi system?

WRT the CDP, do some listening while some friends swap out CD/DVD players ranging from $50 to $1,500 (used price). Connect to your processor digitally (coax). Wear a blind fold. I'll bet the farm you can't rank the players according to cost.

I've read a lot of junk here and it very rarely agrees with what I see or hear when I am auditioning AV equipment. How many of these folks have had their hearing tested? Or their color accuity, for that matter?

Buy what you like. Like what you buy!

E in R.I.
Does you toe tap when you listen?
Is there a smile on your face?
Are you relaxed while listening?

This is all that matters!
Remember to take time to enjoy the music!

The CDP is a very important part of you system.
What is your budget? Do you prefer new or used?
What type of music do you listen to?
Is your system too bright are you looking for a warm CD player, more bass... state your goals for you system so you can match it accordingly.

Hi-fi by half a car length.

Seriously, mid-fi is merely really reference to certain brands as opposed to a label for a system. There is no hifi begins "here", so don't concern yourself.
Open your wallet. Turn it upside down. If money falls out, it is mid-fi. If such is the case, take the remaining money and buy a nice meal and some good tunes to enjoy on your system.

Trying to make everyone agree that you have a "high end" system on this forum will have you taking out loans and maxing out your credit cards. So long as you enjoy what you have, there's no need for anything close to that. Sean
"High end" is the most over used word on this forum. As for mid-fi and hi-fi---what is really the difference? 1/2 hi-fi + 1/2 hi-fi = 1 whole - fi!!!!!!! Someone coined a phrase to attempt to part you from your money from you as Sean says.
Skip that last from you
This is a fair question, but perhaps not well posed. I think that this person is wondering to what extent are they achieving the level of sound quality that most audiophiles tend to seek. That is, to what extent does this system achieve the goals which drive so many of us away from "mid-fi" gear.

My response would be that I've definitely heard Totem speakers produce the level of sound quality that I seek in an "audiophile" system. As for Halo, I've heard the top of the line and I think it's squarely in a top quality range as well. I'm not sure about the particular model suggested, but more important, I suspect that this model may not have power needed to get the Mani-2 to sing. I recall that the Mani-2 has some kind of double woofer that needs a LOT of very clean power to open up.

Then there are issues of taste: the top of the line Halo amp did not produce the palpability that I've heard from great tube amps, but it was extraordinary clean and clear and transparent and quite musical, quite enjoyable. However, while the question posed seems to be asking mainly about level of quality, I would suggest that character of the system needs to be a consideration as well. That is, I would extend the question.

So my short answer is that the choice of brands has great potential to achieve the "magic" that audiophiles tend to seek, but the system matching may or may not achieve this. Moreover, a particular taste in sound is presumed by this choice of gear, and the owner should be aware of that.

Ah, I'm afraid it's lo-fi.

As a favor to you, I'm going to give you $1000.00 in
cash, and take all of it off your hands.
This will give you seed money to start fresh!

Just try and enjoy the MUSIC, thats what it's all about.

Well, I'm gonna go now and crank my Sanyo rig up.
If you speakers cost less than $50,000. they are mid fi.
If your CeeDee player cost less than $20,000. it is mid fi.
If your cables cost less than $2,000. a pair they are mid fi.
If your rom was not custom designed for music reproduction, your system is mid fi.
Face it, Mid fi is a fact of life.
Used to be if you spent more than $500. on your stereo, you were an audiophile, and a HiFi music nut.
Now, $500. might buy you some shiny cones to put under your stuff, or one cheap powercord.
This price increase really hit it's stride in 1985.
For some reason, around 1985 nearly everything audio doubled in price and then went up some more, and has never looked back.
Some of us with sense just play our cheap $10,000. systems and laugh all the way to the bank.
If you dont mind a novice opinion, I think your system is impressively put together. You have obviously put some thought into it. It seems you have developed what no amount of money can buy, and the result is a solid, capable system. I envy your good sense! Ive no doubt your money will be well spent all the way along, and that already puts you way ahead of the game. All I could hope for you is that you are able to appreciate what you have and get some enjoyment from it NOW. That is, after all, part of the return from your investment.
Would it make any difference to you how I or anyone else here would categorize your gear? It shouldn't. There are no industry standards on which gear falls into which category. "One man's trash is another man's treasure."

I think your weakest link is in the lack of a source component ;) As far as a CDP goes, your best bet is to drop in to your local audio emporium and have a look-see at what he has in the rough price range of your other components, take a couple of them home and audition them in YOUR system. Maybe others can make less general recommendations based on their experience with your particular equipment.
Just enjoy your system and tweak it when you think you can make a real improvement
Remember the "Law of diminishing returns?" Nothing in the world is a better example that audio. You can certainly quadruple your monetary outlay and easily end up with less than you have now.
Everything in audio has turned so subjective that there are NO truths anymore (although I think when you cut through all the BS, the truths are there.)
If you look at the almighty specifications, then tell me what midfi is? I will make a statement that a lot of guys in a blind listening test would not be able to tell the difference. The lower cost stuff like NAD and the like is capable of outstanding reproduction but would be considered mid-fi by most.
Do like Parasound did with their CD player once (no joke) they put nice connectors on the back and placed a ten pound lead bar inside the player to give it that "Hi-end" feel!
Take an NAD and surround it in a nice polished enclosure and add a few spiffy connectors and it would move right into the world of hi-end!
Money doesn't dictate crap and your system is very fine indeed! Sit back and enjoy it. Once you get on the trail to sonic nirvana, it will never end and all those manufacturers know this. Why do you think they come out with the "Revolutionary" sound of the month?
That's actually a really nice system. I used to own the Halo combo you do, and have heard the Totems before at a local dealer. The Halos were the first "high-end" components I ever owned. They replaced my Kenwood receiver which I accidentally blew up (literally - long story...). Anyway, based on my experience that gear is surely a step up from average, and should give you a good amount of what the ultra expensive stuff does. The way way audio gear is priced these days, you often have to pay a lot to get the extra resolution. Ultimately it depends on your budget and what's important to you. In the meantime, I would enjoy that system and buy some software.
There'll always be someone with more toys, a fancier car, a bigger house, a bigger shlong, etc. And unfortunately there will always be those who use such things as the measure of a man, as well as the handfull who know that none of it matters one wit. Enjoy what you've got! Listen to more music! Get out of your head and quit trying to pidgeonhole yourself and the rest of the world.


....whew, almost tripped stepping down off that soap box!
Marco, that was a pretty big box you were standing on. :-)

Slov Dream, Great system. Now get the best CDP you can afford but which will leave you with enuf money to buy lot's of music. The music is where its really at!
Newbee - it's a "Preachmaster X-511" soap box; one of the highest there is, and arguably the finest. I'm going to have them bury me in it so I can take it with!

Damn, even my soapbox is mid-fi next to Marco's.
Thanks guys, I agree what all of you have said, in response to the fellow that commented on the A21 possibly not being enough to drive the mani-2. keep in mind that the mani-2 is a 4 ohm speakers and the a21 puts out 400 watts per channel at 4 ohms. Vince stated that this amp will power and be able to handle the low ohm swings of the mani-2 just fine.

As far as the cdp goes, i gues I am going to have to find a helpful dealer who will let me take some equipment home to compare.
if your here your rig is hifi!

where does midfi end & hifi begin?

hifi sound can be had for very little cash & lowfi sound can be had with a ton of cash so if your happy with it its hifi for sure.

Since there seems to be no distinction between mid-fi and hi-fi on this forum I will just keep my stuff and go home :-). Ok for a CDP a Rega Planet might be in order. Or there was a $100.00 CDP reviewed over on audio asylum that was getting rave reviews.

Remember to take the system as a whole.

As Sean so eloquently stated,if you have money in the pocket....actually your deep enough with what you have,NOW you could try some organics or seating positions for a different kind of upgrade,YMMV...Bob
Slov_dream, I agree with your assessment of the A21 - I drove Dynaudio 52's with mine, and those are 85 db sensitive, with a nominal 4 Ohm impedance. You should be fine.
nice setup. i also have a pair of mani 2's with classe and odyssey components. I have been thinking about going to a more powerful amp for the mani's, like a classe ca-301 or mcintosh mc352. as for a cdp, check out the esoteric or the musical fidelity sacd player ($6000+). Don't go cheap on your source components.
good luck
To paraphrase George Carlin's riff on 'stuff,'
"My stuff is hi-fi, your stuff is mid-fi."
Regarding the power of the Halo to drive the Mani 2: I was mixing up two different Halo models. 400 watts into 4 ohms should be enough to register on some earthquake monitor some place.
I have a very similar setup, but Totem Forests instead of mani's, and transparent/analysis plus cables, using a sony scd-1 with parasound halo p3/a21 combo. I think it's great, and sounds very much as others have described: clean, transparent, musical, etc., but it all depends on what you think. I was totally happy with my pre/power combo until I listened to some things that cost like 3 times as much. Now I'm looking into getting rid of the halo which my friend has called 'mid-fi'. I was never unhappy with them, and don't think they're mid-fi by any means, I just found something better sounding. At the price point they're tough to beat, unless you're going used. I agree though that they may not have enough WPC to really make your mani's sing. A simple and cheap upgrade would be to buy another A21 and bridge the two.
My systems are always mid-fi. My dream systems are real hi-fi. The last time I dreamed up a really good hi-fi system I was near $100,000 but what the heck you have to aspire to something. When I wake up I still like the system I have, it's very satisfying.

My dream system comes in at 100,000.01- 100,000.02 if I go with green. That said, it is very large! It is very, very heavy! In my dream I cant budge it, and the dealer is very old and skinny and italian. He wants me to go-tank you... have fun. tank you... adios! The whole dream is badly dubbed, and words hang in the air, and the system just sits there!
"Totem Acoustic Mani-2 Signatures"
===>>>Totem Mani-2 Signatures = HI-fi
At then end of the day when you come home and play your music - it should relax you, make you want to play more, set you in that toe-tapping mood. If it cannot do that, then whatever the cost/brand - it is a shame-fi!!
your system is 'mid hi-fi', 7.575 to be precise. i have a mathematical equation, top secret, that i use to calculate systems. re. cdp, the quality of the recordings will annihilate most subtle differences between cdp's anyway. i have been so impressed by the new generation of cd's that it is hard to play the 'old' cd's. seriously, if you found this site and own that type of gear, you do not need to worry about the quality of reproduction you are enjoying. you have permission to call it hi-fi in my book!
Veroman, I got 7.6375, did you forget to carry something? Or maybe you equation is incorrect.
I'd look at the Ayre C-5xe. That is what I bought and IMO for the price it is better sounding than equipment twice its price that play only one or two formats. It is a universal stereo player (DVD-A, SACD, CD & HDCD, DVD-V, etc). It has gained a lot of recognition this last year and won some awards as well such as the joint digital source component award of 2005 from Stereophile magazine, "joint" meaning it shared the title with a two piece dCS stack, which is around 4.5 times the price. It also won a joint component award of 2005 from the magazine as well.

It only took me a minute or two of listening to it before I knew it was the perfect source for my system. I then spent a lot more time just listening to it at the store because I knew it would take a month for my order to even get to me since they are back ordered right now due to the high demand. I should finally be getting it in the next week.

Here is a link to the Stereophile product of the year awards: product of the year awards