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basic and affordable stereo system - Page 6

post #76 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprezzatura2010 View Post
DACs all sound the same, so it really doesn't matter much.

Thank you for starting my day with laughter.

post #77 of 85
Given the tight budget, one option you might want to visit is looking at active speakers. Yea, most are crap designed for computers, but there are audiophile versions out there, which tend not to be inexpensive, but that's what ebay is for. At least you won't have to agonize over amp options. Personally, if I were in your shoes, I would look for an old pair of John Bowers Active 1's ...or possibly old Meridian ones. This leaves you with the ability to use a passive pre or even the variable output on your player directly into the speakers. Not sure how well this will work or what the resulting sound will be like, but it's something I would consider before buying mediocre electronics.
post #78 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by freshcutgrass View Post
Given the tight budget, one option you might want to visit is looking at active speakers. Yea, most are crap designed for computers, but there are audiophile versions out there, which tend not to be inexpensive, but that's what ebay is for.

Yeah, I suggested the AudioEngine speakers were worth checking out originally but with the larger budget he has several options.
post #79 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by freshcutgrass View Post
Given the tight budget, one option you might want to visit is looking at active speakers. Yea, most are crap designed for computers, but there are audiophile versions out there, which tend not to be inexpensive, but that's what ebay is for.

At least you won't have to agonize over amp options. Personally, if I were in your shoes, I would look for an old pair of John Bowers Active 1's ...or possibly old Meridian ones.

Not a bad idea at all. The old Paradigm Reference Active/20 and Active/40 are two other "hifi" active speakers to seek out. Also the old Vergence studio monitors, which are active speakers designed by Ken Kantor after he left NHT.

Also, JBL has some good active speakers right now. They're sold by musical insturment stores as studio monitors, but work well for home use as well.
post #80 of 85
Onkyo
post #81 of 85
I built my own speakers way back when....some kit I bought from an audio geek store in Australia. Based around Vifa drivers IIRC. My brother is way more of an audiophile than I ever was, and he was pretty damn impressed. I believe he is still using them actually.
post #82 of 85
Today it's pretty easy to build your own speakers. They are lots of great kits, and the internet makes sources for drive-units and crossover parts such as Madisound, Parts Express, and Solen available to everyone. One that strikes me as interesting is this one: http://www.zaphaudio.com/Waveguidetmm.html It would probably be better with woofers that employ shorting rings, but overall it looks like a well-designed speaker.
post #83 of 85
plus it's way fun and you get bragging rights
post #84 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprezzatura2010 View Post
. One that strikes me as interesting is this one: http://www.zaphaudio.com/Waveguidetmm.html

That's a good site in general. Lots of really good info about audio.

--Andre
post #85 of 85
Speakers
I'm in agreement that a large portion of your budget should be devoted to speakers. I enjoy the sound of monitors and am a big fan of Green Mountain Audio -- I've owned the Europa and Callisto monitors. Of these, only used Europas would be in your budget.

Other monitors that I've heard and enjoyed:

- Paradigm, Studio series

- JM Labs / Focal, Cobalt series (not chorus)

- Von Schweikert

- Usher

Monitors I'd like to hear based on feedback:

- Silverline

- Aurum Cantus

Not to complicate the mix too much, but it sounds like you might also enjoy a singledriver speaker. If you've never heard one, and have a chance to do so, you may be rewarded. Most single driver speakers are made by smaller companies or DIY guys.

Amp
On the integrated amp front, I loved my YBA Integre. It's a stand out, loved by all owners, and a constant recommended component, if you follow reviews. While this amp is out of your price range, I have heard nothing but praise for the Audio Refinement series by YBA. The Audio Refinement Complete is the one you want to listen to. These can be found used for around $450.

I've owned Jolida equiptment and enjoy its sound -- for a tube option, if you aren't going to use your computer as a digital source (in which case you can buy a tube output DAC to warm your sound), you could opt for a tube output CD player, but you may simply prefer a tube amp.

To that end, you may want to consider the Jolida integrated. The remote is a nice feature, and it is a hybrid with both solid state and tubes giving you warm mids and clear highs with the underside powered by solid state. I used to own the 1501 but have heard the 1701 is an improvement. There's one on Audiogon for $530 obo.

I also hear good things about Eastern Elecric.

Possible System
If I were to recommend a system for you based on what I've heard you say (rather than pressing my opinion) I'd think about this route:

1. Jolida 1701 Integrated or Audio Refinement Complete: ~$500 (used)
- if you want the convenience of a remote
- if you want a true tube amp with bigger tube sound, then the Jolida 102 (~$400) or 202 (~$500)

2. Speakers should match well with your amplifier. Listen and learn but plan to spend about $700-$800.

3. CDP -- I'll defer to the others on the CDP. My budget pics are the EastSound E5, the Cambridge Audio Azur series, and a few others -- all budget breakers. There is a big difference in sound based on your digital front end, but that's not a discussion worth getting into at your system price point since the money is best spent elsewhere. So ... the Oppo I suppose. $160

4. Cables. Signal Cable Silver Resolution ICs (1 pair) and speaker cables. Upgrade to these later @ about ~$200 (used).
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