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Upgrade Plans / Future Proofing


Jackstraw75
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Hello -

Been along time reader on the forum, and now I'm finally getting close to my upgrade plans...aka. "retirement gifts to me" in 2023 and after.  Last year, I decided to sell my Rouge Audio 99 Magnum preamp (after 17 really good years of use), and in the interim have been using a Marantz processor for both our HT and music listening duties.  I also added a Musical Surroundings Nova III for vinyl to help transition me to my next steps.  The Rouge included the HT bypass and as I don't have the room at home for an audio only system,  my upgrade will also be apart of a shared system.  My speakers are the 3A Sigs (going into their 18th season), and though are part of an upgrade path, that will be step 2.  

Step 1 - After a lot of reading, and a several talks with Glenn at Aesthetix (man, I can NEVER spell this without looking it up:), I'm leaning very hard towards the Mimas Integrated.  I plan on a visit to Stereo Unlimited in SD soon to get a listen in as well.  Due to space constraints, and the fact that I already have separates for the HT duties (the Marantz and a 22 year old Parasound 2205 Amp), I definitely want to simplify the audio side with a one box solution.  

Step 2 - (and I think its impact on step 1) - Speakers.  I'm certain a pair of Havana Black Quatro's will be in my family room someday, but that part of this "gift" does require some more savings of my shekels...

There are options on the Mimas (I plan on adding the DAC and I'm not sure yet on the phono (given the fairly new Nova III that I really have not "listened" to as the Marantz is okay, but definitely can be improved on for music).  The other option is the addition of a High Pass crossover and this is where as an Accountant, my technical understanding falls short. 

My question is if I add the HP crossover in the Mimas, does this take care of the HP crossover need when I get to the Quatro's, or will I still need the Vandersteen crossover as well?  Or another way to ask, if I need the Vandersteen crossovers, do I not need to add the HP to the Mimas?  The HP add on is $1200 I believe.

Appreciate the forum and any input that you all could provide.  

Thanks, 

David

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I think you have this backwards.  Stay with separates for your audio (always better sound and shorter speaker wires) which is two boxes.  Use a A/V receiver for HT (one box with the left and right front A/V receiver output into preamp input) this will improve both two channel audio and HT with the same number of boxes and preserves the quality bias towards audio sonic priority.  Long speaker wires have a significant sonic impact and good ones are expensive with the savings going a long way towards mono block amplifiers.  RV

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But to answer your question...if you want to use a Mimas with a pair of Quatros, you will need to have the high-pass crossover built into the Mimas. Since the Mimas does not have both a pre-amp output AND an amp input, even if you wanted to, you cannot use the Vandersteen high-pass crossover option.

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32 minutes ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

I think you have this backwards.  Stay with separates for your audio (always better sound and shorter speaker wires) which is two boxes.  Use a A/V receiver for HT (one box with the left and right front A/V receiver output into preamp input) this will improve both two channel audio and HT with the same number of boxes and preserves the quality bias towards audio sonic priority.  Long speaker wires have a significant sonic impact and good ones are expensive with the savings going a long way towards mono block amplifiers.  RV

Thanks Richard! Appreciate the feedback and yes, I do have a lot to consider with these upgrades.  I also have an pretty understanding wife, though maybe not this understanding...:) 

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2 hours ago, nrenter said:

But to answer your question...if you want to use a Mimas with a pair of Quatros, you will need to have the high-pass crossover built into the Mimas. Since the Mimas does not have both a pre-amp output AND an amp input, even if you wanted to, you cannot use the Vandersteen high-pass crossover option.

Thanks!  

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@Jackstraw75 I’m really interested in hearing about your experience with the Mimas (particularly if your get to sample a fully-loaded version). When I was debating if I was going to continue evolving my Ayre stack, I thought collapsing everything into a Mimas was an interesting proposition. Unfortunately I didn’t have an opportunity to hear a Mimas (and, the Mimas does not have a tape loop - I have a lot of fun with my Nakamichi Dragon). Ultimately I decided to stay with the Ayre family (thanks, @ctsooner). 

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On 9/2/2022 at 1:49 PM, Jackstraw75 said:

Thanks!  

Use caution as the built-in hi-passes in Aesthetix products are reported to not be very transparent resulting in most Vandersteen owners using the M5-HPB high-pass.  Aesthetix gear is a good combination with Vandersteen speakers but be sure to audition the combination you will be using.  RV

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5 hours ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

Use caution as the built-in hi-passes in Aesthetix products are reported to not be very transparent resulting in most Vandersteen owners using the M5-HPB high-pass.  Aesthetix gear is a good combination with Vandersteen speakers but be sure to audition the combination you will be using.  RV

Do we know why? What is it about their implementation cause poor performance? Parts? Circuit design?

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At all price points compromises have to be made as there is no free lunch.  When a designer puts that much into one box compromise is inevitable as integrated's have always been a way to get a lot of performance for the money, but they will never perform with separates.  Sometimes there is no flaw in the design just a flaw in our expectations.  The Minas maybe the best way to go for this budget limit, do the demo.  RV

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22 hours ago, nrenter said:

@Jackstraw75 I’m really interested in hearing about your experience with the Mimas (particularly if your get to sample a fully-loaded version). When I was debating if I was going to continue evolving my Ayre stack, I thought collapsing everything into a Mimas was an interesting proposition. Unfortunately I didn’t have an opportunity to hear a Mimas (and, the Mimas does not have a tape loop - I have a lot of fun with my Nakamichi Dragon). Ultimately I decided to stay with the Ayre family (thanks, @ctsooner). 

Will do, though I do need to make a trip to San Diego first and give all this a listen.  They currently do not have a Mimas up, but should sometime closer to November.  They do have the Quatro/M5 ready to hear and I plan that also.  

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32 minutes ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

At all price points compromises have to be made as there is no free lunch.  When a designer puts that much into one box compromise is inevitable as integrated's have always been a way to get a lot of performance for the money, but they will never perform with separates.  Sometimes there is no flaw in the design just a flaw in our expectations.  The Minas maybe the best way to go for this budget limit, do the demo.  RV

Appreciate it Richard, and agree.  I need to visit Bruce/Ray at Stereo Unlimited this fall and spend some time just listening.  The budget has some definite flexibility in it,  and given I still have one-year left on the job, have some time.  The Pallene (Mimas in preamp form) is also a consideration with your fine amps as well...that and a super understanding wife when I get there.....:)

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Listening is the most important thing for Vandersteen owners.  More so than many other brands from what I've observed and I know a few others who feel the same way.  Bruce is awesome and will Shepard you in your search. 

I upgraded from Treo's to Quatro's and from the Ayre AX5/20 to the Vandy M5 amps and won't ever look back.  Just amazing sound and should be for teh cost.  Budget is the most important thing to listen to, but stretching it to get what you really want can make sense at times.  I know it has when I've done it, but I also do a ton of auditioning.  Have fun with it all as you are doing.

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2 hours ago, ctsooner said:

Listening is the most important thing for Vandersteen owners.  More so than many other brands from what I've observed and I know a few others who feel the same way.  Bruce is awesome and will Shepard you in your search. 

I upgraded from Treo's to Quatro's and from the Ayre AX5/20 to the Vandy M5 amps and won't ever look back.  Just amazing sound and should be for teh cost.  Budget is the most important thing to listen to, but stretching it to get what you really want can make sense at times.  I know it has when I've done it, but I also do a ton of auditioning.  Have fun with it all as you are doing.

Profound advice even if one needs to wait or use existing inferior solutions in order to upgrade one component at a time towards an ultimate goal.  Over time this will result in similar expense but result in a much higher performance system.    RV

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4 hours ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

Profound advice even if one needs to wait or use existing inferior solutions in order to upgrade one component at a time towards an ultimate goal.  Over time this will result in similar expense but result in a much higher performance system.    RV

Thanks Richard.  As you well know, it's taking me a few years to get to where I am and I have one more to go...... a preamp, lol. Ha! 🙂 

 

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