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basic and affordable stereo system

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by antirabbit, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. antirabbit

    antirabbit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    North GA
    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.
     
  2. Sprezzatura2010

    Sprezzatura2010 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  3. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    32,345
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    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.
     
  4. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  5. coachvu

    coachvu Well-Known Member

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    Apr 10, 2006
    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?
     
  6. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. antirabbit

    antirabbit Well-Known Member

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    Ok,
    Well, lets design a system.
    Tell me where to look and what to look for?
    This kicks ass.
     
  8. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Jul 17, 2006
    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...
     
  9. audiophilia

    audiophilia Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Here's a good cable. And cheeeep.

    [​IMG]

    >>>

    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.
     
  10. Sprezzatura2010

    Sprezzatura2010 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    765
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    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.
    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.
     
  11. unpainted huffheinz

    unpainted huffheinz Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  12. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. kronik

    kronik Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    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?
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  14. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

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    Did you just oppose Fran about something audio-related?
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  15. antirabbit

    antirabbit Well-Known Member

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    Why not do just an integrated amplifier?
     
  16. unpainted huffheinz

    unpainted huffheinz Well-Known Member

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    Why not do just an integrated amplifier?

    They are fine for the most part unless the amp is not powerful enough to drive the speakers. Not having enough power for the speakers is worse than having too much.

    I would spend more time picking speakers, and also spend most of the budget on them.
     
  17. Sprezzatura2010

    Sprezzatura2010 Well-Known Member

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    Why not do just an integrated amplifier?

    An integrated amplifier is just a receiver without the tuner.

    I don't know of any that have good room correction software built in. Certainly no affordable ones. That's why I'd recommend a modern A/V receiver over an integrated.
     
  18. antirabbit

    antirabbit Well-Known Member

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    makes sense.
    From what I recall, I loved the clarity of NAD.
    I also loved Jolida....I am a musician and play my violin through a botique class A pentode tube amp that is only 5 watts, through a 2x12 cab, I can cut hair with the decibal level I get through it.
    So this does not apply here?
     
  19. unpainted huffheinz

    unpainted huffheinz Well-Known Member

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    An integrated amplifier is just a receiver without the tuner.

    I don't know of any that have good room correction software built in. Certainly no affordable ones. That's why I'd recommend a modern A/V receiver over an integrated.


    Room 'correction' software is a poor substitute for acoustic treatment. Actually, $700 in rigid fiberglass panels might make an old system sound pretty amazing. The WAF might come into play though.
     
  20. unpainted huffheinz

    unpainted huffheinz Well-Known Member

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    makes sense.
    From what I recall, I loved the clarity of NAD.
    I also loved Jolida....I am a musician and play my violin through a botique class A pentode tube amp that is only 5 watts, through a 2x12 cab, I can cut hair with the decibal level I get through it.
    So this does not apply here?


    A lot of those low watt tube amps push a lot more than that. Most wattage ratings on gear is for a brief test burst and not RMS on program material so it is hard to compare between brands unless the manufacturer discloses the details, which typically none do.

    NAD makes really good solid state amps for the money.
     

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