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basic and affordable stereo system

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 
So, it has been at least 15 years since I have had the money or time to be into audio.

I am looking to build a basic system and will try to purchase used items as much as possible.
Please excuse my dated knowledge.

I would like:
Either an NAD or Jolida integrated amplifier
A good CD player
Good speakers (maggies or KEF)
I would like to spend $700.00 or less.

Can any one recomend products to look at?

Am I missing components?

I listen to Jazz, Classical, and indie rock.
post #2 of 85
Skip the integrated, and get a receiver with Audyssey MultEQ XT. I think closeout Onkyo 705's should fit will in your budget. Look on Craigslist or something for a cheap CD player. They all sound the same, so no need to spend more than $40 or $50. With what's left, you should be able to get a pair of KEF iQ-series speakers and stands, or maybe even the base floorstanding model. I don't much care for Magnepan's looks or sound, and they also require much more room real-estate because of the way they need to be placed. KEF makes an excellent speaker.
post #3 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by antirabbit View Post
So, it has been at least 15 years since I have had the money or time to be into audio.

I am looking to build a basic system and will try to purchase used items as much as possible.
Please excuse my dated knowledge.

I would like:
Either an NAD or Jolida integrated amplifier
A good CD player
Good speakers (maggies or KEF)
I would like to spend $700.00 or less.

Can any one recomend products to look at?

Am I missing components?

I listen to Jazz, Classical, and indie rock.

$700 is a bit low but I would pick up the new Absolute Sound and look at the budget systems there to get started.

Entry Maggies might be $550 with discount and you can get a used NAD and a cheap CD player. If you can do a bit more on the CD player, then you can get an Oppo 980 for $160 and have terrific DVD and upsampled DVD video source as well.

I would also look at small bookshelf speakers like PSB, Monitor Audio, and Paradigm.

Another route is to buy AudioEngine 5 amplifed speakers for $349 and run those from a better CD player (perhaps one with Super Audio as there are lots of SACDs out, 5K in fact and 25 new Blue Note titles in the next two months) as a source. Or get a new iPod which plugs right into the speakers and gives you a free portability option.

If you really like classical and jazz I would say a Super Audio player should be strongly considered.
post #4 of 85
One more thing - antirabbit is in Chicago so I can heartily recommend a trip to the MusicDirect shop. My favorite mail order company for hardware and software.
post #5 of 85
Artisan Fan, what used NAD amp do you recommend? I've read about the 3020, but there aren't many available on ebay. As for new models, what about the Onkyo TX-SR606B?
post #6 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachvu View Post
Artisan Fan, what used NAD amp do you recommend? I've read about the 3020, but there aren't many available on ebay. As for new models, what about the Onkyo TX-SR606B?

I like the BEE series as they sound very good. Not sure on the Onkyos but have heard good things about the more expensive ones.
post #7 of 85
Thread Starter 
Ok,
Well, lets design a system.
Tell me where to look and what to look for?
This kicks ass.
post #8 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by antirabbit View Post
Ok,
Well, lets design a system.
Tell me where to look and what to look for?
This kicks ass.

To recap:

Take a long lunch and go to MusicDirect for starters. Pickup the recent issue of Absolute Sound. Look at the Maggies and the BEE series from NAD. Think seriously about the Super Audio CD format, likely via an Oppo 980 for $160. MusicDirect might have this on display...
post #9 of 85
Here's a good cable. And cheeeep.



>>>

On topic. Some good advice there from AF. Check out Audiogon, too. You may get a 'hit'. As for iPods. Lots of new, cheaper DACs coming out to help.

Good luck. Have fun. And, trust your ears.
post #10 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachvu View Post
Artisan Fan, what used NAD amp do you recommend? I've read about the 3020, but there aren't many available on ebay. As for new models, what about the Onkyo TX-SR606B?
The 606 has the entry-level Audyssey room correction. 2EQ. While not a bad system, it is not as sophisticated or useful as MultEQ XT. It also takes fewer measurements, so you'll get a less accurate characterization of the room. So last year's 705 closeout is a better receiver than today's 606. Also, the mic that comes with 2EQ based systems is not as good, and that matters for accuracy of room correction. Both of my MultEQ XT mics (I also have a MultEQ XT processor in my car) measure astoundingly well. They are basically flat through the midrange and bass, and only a little off from my expensively calibrated measurement mic in the extreme treble. Oh, one more thing you might want to make room for in your budget is a good universal remote control. I really like the Logitech Harmony line.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
Pickup the recent issue of Absolute Sound.
A magazine written for clueless idiots, by clueless idiots. TAS and the like are to good audio what GQ, et al., are to good clothing. If Harry Pearson & Co say something, running in the opposite direction is usually a safe bet. At least Stereophile bothers to actually measure the gear they review. That said, a player that can do SACD isn't a bad idea. Two-channel SACD sounds exactly the same as two-channel CD. However, upgrading to 5.1 channels in the future can give you a better sonic experience from SACD. One needn't spend $160 on an SACD player. I picked up my Samsung DVD/SACD/DVDA player for about seventy bucks. Three years ago.
post #11 of 85
AntiRabbit, Chicago has Saturday Audio Exchange on Belmont just west of Sheffield. They are NAD dealers and have lots of second hand high end audio. If you want some help just send me a PM.

http://saturdayaudio.com/

PS - Belden makes great cable - Gepco makes even better.
post #12 of 85
Quote:
Two-channel SACD sounds exactly the same as two-channel CD.

post #13 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprezzatura2010 View Post
The 606 has the entry-level Audyssey room correction. 2EQ. While not a bad system, it is not as sophisticated or useful as MultEQ XT. It also takes fewer measurements, so you'll get a less accurate characterization of the room. So last year's 705 closeout is a better receiver than today's 606.

Also, the mic that comes with 2EQ based systems is not as good, and that matters for accuracy of room correction. Both of my MultEQ XT mics (I also have a MultEQ XT processor in my car) measure astoundingly well. They are basically flat through the midrange and bass, and only a little off from my expensively calibrated measurement mic in the extreme treble.

Oh, one more thing you might want to make room for in your budget is a good universal remote control. I really like the Logitech Harmony line.



A magazine written for clueless idiots, by clueless idiots. TAS and the like are to good audio what GQ, et al., are to good clothing. If Harry Pearson & Co say something, running in the opposite direction is usually a safe bet. At least Stereophile bothers to actually measure the gear they review.

That said, a player that can do SACD isn't a bad idea. Two-channel SACD sounds exactly the same as two-channel CD. However, upgrading to 5.1 channels in the future can give you a better sonic experience from SACD. One needn't spend $160 on an SACD player. I picked up my Samsung DVD/SACD/DVDA player for about seventy bucks. Three years ago.

Did you just oppose Fran about something audio-related?
post #14 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by kronik View Post
Did you just oppose Fran about something audio-related?

post #15 of 85
Thread Starter 
Why not do just an integrated amplifier?
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