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Old 11-22-2021, 01:42 AM
Blackfield Blackfield is offline
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Default Seeking advice building stereo system with Sabrina X

Hi,

A new member here and I am a noob in the hi-fi audio world.

Recently, I got a chance to listen to Wilson Audio Alexx V and it opened my ears on how really great stereo system sounds like.
It is way out of my budget but it was a great fun nonetheless.

I also got a chance to listen to Sabrina X and my plan is to build a decent stereo system with Sabrina X as the foundation.

The listening rooms to consider:
1. W 11' x L 13.5' x H 10'. This is an empty bedroom atm and it has a window on the front wall.
2. W 12' x L 16' x H 12'. This is my office. If you are facing the front wall (the 12' wide wall), there are windows (with plantation shutters) on the left side and double glass door at the back to enter the room.
I plan to add acoustic treatment down the road.


Others:
* listening level: moderate db (80%) and higher (20%).
* genre: prog rock/metal (50%), blues, jazz, vocal and others (50%)
* source: digital only
* amp preference: leaning towards SS integrated.
* amp+dac budget: below $8k, don't mind used/demo unit.

The dealer matches Sabrina X with Dan D'Agostino Progression Integrated, while they sound good together, at $20k, the amp is out of my budget.


1. My plan is to use room # 1 to begin with, in the future, I may move it to room # 2. Due to the room size - I am concerned if a floorstander will overwelm the room - yet Sabrina X is not exactly huge.
Will Sabrina X overwelm such small rooms?

2. What is the optimum amp wpc range to drive Sabrina X for my room size and listening habits?
ref - Sabrina X impedance curve: https://www.stereophile.com/content/...r-measurements
* In this thread - both Charles and metaphacts mentioned that MC275 (@75wpc) can't drive Sabrina X adequately.

To get the best out of Sabrina X, Charles suggested for tube - a minimum of 150 wpc or a SS of 400 wpc.
While metaphacts here mentioned that ARC i50 (@50wpc) is a match.

What could explain the seemingly very wide range of wpc recommendations?

* On the other hand, I was given an advice by someone at Wilson Audio that for the above room size, anything that can provide 80-150wpc (tube or SS) should be more than sufficient.

3. I do not have a lot of experience with different amps signatures sound, thus it is though for me to narrow down the companies too.
What questions would you ask one self to help narrow down an amp?

4. What is your thought on Sabrina X & Hegel H390 synergy?
Folks at Audio Excellence mentioned the Sabrina X and H390 pairing.

Rated at 250 wpc at 8ohms, it can almost double to 490 wpc at 4ohms.
The price is reasonable and it is convenient as it is integrated, comes with DAC, streamer, thus comes with everything that I need.

5. I am open to other suggestions for an amp that is outside of the budget if an argument can be made that the amp will have better synergy with Sabrina X than Hegel H390- thus saving me from upgrading in the future.
* McIntosh appears to be quite popular in this forum. I am curious if MA9000 will be a good match with Sabrina X.

6. Given the current climate, how much of a discount can one reasonably receive for Sabrina X and high end amps?
I have not asked my dealer as I am in the researching phase and would like to get your input. Please feel free to PM me if you prefer to share it in private.


I would appreciate any feedbacks that you may offer.

Last edited by Blackfield; 11-22-2021 at 01:04 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2021, 09:52 AM
PeterMusic PeterMusic is offline
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One very important issue--we all have different ears. It sounds to me like you've done plenty of thoughtful research and that you have a dealer you like. At this point, I would start listening. Your dealer probably has only a handful of amps in the $10-25K range (total cost of the pre + power for separates), I would listen to them all side by side--you will hear the synergy (or not) quickly.

Also, you mention prog rock/metal as 50% of your listening. As you may have seen in my other posts, the SabrinaX is likely to benefit from subwoofer if you really want to rock.

I would be surprised if you got a price discount unless there was some sort of "special" situation, such as a demo model.
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2021, 01:22 PM
Blackfield Blackfield is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterMusic View Post
One very important issue--we all have different ears. It sounds to me like you've done plenty of thoughtful research and that you have a dealer you like. At this point, I would start listening. Your dealer probably has only a handful of amps in the $10-25K range (total cost of the pre + power for separates), I would listen to them all side by side--you will hear the synergy (or not) quickly.

Also, you mention prog rock/metal as 50% of your listening. As you may have seen in my other posts, the SabrinaX is likely to benefit from subwoofer if you really want to rock.

I would be surprised if you got a price discount unless there was some sort of "special" situation, such as a demo model.
Thank you PeterMusic.
The dealer carries Dan D'agostino, Audio Research and Luxman.

I am intrigued by ASR i/5 - especially since metaphacts mentioned the good match. The dealer has not received one but I have time.

Luxman, from what I read, it seems to match well with insensitive speakers.

re: bass - I am not a huge bass head. I auditioned Sabrina X with Luminol (Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing And Other Stories album). This song starts with kick drum and it sounds very tight. In the middle of the song, there is transition period where there is a bass guitar passage, it sounds great here too. A reviewer used the same song to audition as well. But yes, it is good to have the option to add subwoofer if the need arises.
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2021, 01:39 PM
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crwilli crwilli is offline
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The Luxman M900u amplifier is a relative bargain, performing at a very high level. It would get out all the Sabrinas can give.

See if your dealer can audition that with the Sabrina’s.
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2021, 01:58 PM
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metaphacts metaphacts is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackfield View Post
Hi,

A new member here and I am a noob in the hi-fi audio world.

Recently, I got a chance to listen to Wilson Audio Alexx V and it opened my ears on how really great stereo system sounds like.
It is way out of my budget but it was a great fun nonetheless.

I also got a chance to listen to Sabrina X and my plan is to build a decent stereo system with Sabrina X as the foundation.

The listening rooms to consider:
1. W 11' x L 13.5' x H 10'. This is an empty bedroom atm and it has a window on the front wall.
2. W 12' x L 16' x H 12'. This is my office. If you are facing the front wall (the 12' wide wall), there are windows (with plantation shutters) on the left side and double glass door at the back to enter the room.
I plan to add acoustic treatment down the road.


Others:
* listening level: moderate db (80%) and higher (20%).
* genre: prog rock/metal (50%), blues, jazz, vocal and others (50%)
* source: digital only
* amp preference: leaning towards SS integrated.
* amp+dac budget: below $8k, don't mind used/demo unit.

The dealer matches Sabrina X with Dan D'Agostino Progression Integrated, while they sound good together, at $20k, the amp is out of my budget.


1. My plan is to use room # 1 to begin with, in the future, I may move it to room # 2. Due to the room size - I am concerned if a floorstander will overwelm the room - yet Sabrina X is not exactly huge.
Will Sabrina X overwelm such small rooms?

2. What is the optimum amp wpc range to drive Sabrina X for my room size and listening habits?
ref - Sabrina X impedance curve: https://www.stereophile.com/content/...r-measurements
* In this thread - both Charles and metaphacts mentioned that MC275 (@75wpc) can't drive Sabrina X adequately.

To get the best out of Sabrina X, Charles suggested for tube - a minimum of 150 wpc or a SS of 400 wpc.
While metaphacts here mentioned that ARC i50 (@50wpc) is a match.

What could explain the seemingly very wide range of wpc recommendations?

* On the other hand, I was given an advice by someone at Wilson Audio that for the above room size, anything that can provide 80-150wpc (tube or SS) should be more than sufficient.

3. I do not have a lot of experience with different amps signatures sound, thus it is though for me to narrow down the companies too.
What questions would you ask one self to help narrow down an amp?

4. What is your thought on Sabrina X & Hegel H390 synergy?
Folks at Audio Excellence mentioned the Sabrina X and H390 pairing.

Rated at 250 wpc at 8ohms, it can almost double to 490 wpc at 4ohms.
The price is reasonable and it is convenient as it is integrated, comes with DAC, streamer, thus comes with everything that I need.

5. I am open to other suggestions for an amp that is outside of the budget if an argument can be made that the amp will have better synergy with Sabrina X than Hegel H390- thus saving me from upgrading in the future.
* McIntosh appears to be quite popular in this forum. I am curious if MA9000 will be a good match with Sabrina X.

6. Given the current climate, how much of a discount can one reasonably receive for Sabrina X and high end amps?
I have not asked my dealer as I am in the researching phase and would like to get your input. Please feel free to PM me if you prefer to share it in private.


I would appreciate any feedbacks that you may offer.
Good luck with your search.

If you were not aware, I work for Wilson Audio.

That said my i50 comments were based on comments from ARC personnel whose value jugements I trust. I was at ARC a couple of Saturdays ago to set up their Sasha DAWs in the main listening room with Warren. Though I saw many i50 on the production line, there was not time to hear it with their Sabrina X.

Once I hear one, I can comment further.
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2021, 05:23 PM
Blackfield Blackfield is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaphacts View Post
Good luck with your search.

If you were not aware, I work for Wilson Audio.

That said my i50 comments were based on comments from ARC personnel whose value jugements I trust. I was at ARC a couple of Saturdays ago to set up their Sasha DAWs in the main listening room with Warren. Though I saw many i50 on the production line, there was not time to hear it with their Sabrina X.

Once I hear one, I can comment further.
Thank you metaphacts, I look forward to reading your thought on i50.
As mentioned, I am a hi-fi noob so please forgive me for these newbie questions - I am researching and learning.

I am guessing the amp that is suitable for Sabrina X needs to be able handle its impedance curve - in which it can dip to almost 2 ohms and MC275 can't?

The minimum recommended amp power for Sabrina X is 50 wpc so I am also curious what one might loose by powering it with i50 @ 50wpc vs. other larger wattage amp that can also handle it, e.g. Hegel H390.

In regards to my question on Sabrina X and my listening rooms, would there be any concern that the room is too small?
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2021, 12:44 AM
sidvee sidvee is offline
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I am driving a Sabrina (not x) with a luxman m700u in a 14' x 12' room. The luxman sounds superb, never breaks a sweat even in the most demanding passages. Prior to the luxman I had a symphonic line kraft 250 which is a beast compared to the lux., weighs almost double and costs almost double as well. However there was no real difference between the 2, maybe the kraft had better grip on the lowest registers, but tbh I could not hear much of a difference. Hope this helps. I had the option of the m900u, but I wanted to get an amp. with a smaller, lighter footprint.
Cheers,
Sid
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  #8  
Old 11-23-2021, 02:59 AM
Charles Charles is offline
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MA9000 would be an excellent choice. Adequate power (300W/ch) and Wilsons sound great with Mac power. At 10K it's a very large integrated and very beautiful. You can't go wrong with this combination. Good luck!

Best

Charles
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2021, 10:00 AM
GSOphile GSOphile is offline
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The replacement for the Luxman M-900u, the M-10X, has been announced in Japan and should be available in the US 1Q22. So if you like the M-900u, these should be coming available used at attractive prices. However, you might also want to take a good look at Luxman's excellent integrated amp offerings.

IMO, a stronger recommendation would be the Gryphon Diablo 300 (which I own), or its little brother, the Diablo 120.

Last edited by GSOphile; 11-23-2021 at 10:08 AM.
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  #10  
Old 11-23-2021, 06:48 PM
Blackfield Blackfield is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crwilli View Post
The Luxman M900u amplifier is a relative bargain, performing at a very high level. It would get out all the Sabrinas can give.

See if your dealer can audition that with the Sabrina’s.
Thank you, I will see if the dealer has Luxman M900u, it is definitely out of my price range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidvee View Post
I am driving a Sabrina (not x) with a luxman m700u in a 14' x 12' room. The luxman sounds superb, never breaks a sweat even in the most demanding passages. Prior to the luxman I had a symphonic line kraft 250 which is a beast compared to the lux., weighs almost double and costs almost double as well. However there was no real difference between the 2, maybe the kraft had better grip on the lowest registers, but tbh I could not hear much of a difference. Hope this helps. I had the option of the m900u, but I wanted to get an amp. with a smaller, lighter footprint.
Cheers,
Sid
Your room is similar size to mine, it sounds like Sabrina does not overwhelm the room.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GSOphile View Post
The replacement for the Luxman M-900u, the M-10X, has been announced in Japan and should be available in the US 1Q22. So if you like the M-900u, these should be coming available used at attractive prices. However, you might also want to take a good look at Luxman's excellent integrated amp offerings.

IMO, a stronger recommendation would be the Gryphon Diablo 300 (which I own), or its little brother, the Diablo 120.
Thank you. Luxman M-900u and Gryphon Diablo 300 are out of my price range. At this price range, I would seriously consider MA12000 that comes with everything that I need.
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