You are here

Log in or register to post comments
caineology
caineology's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Dec 1 2012 - 8:56am
Help me get my fiance a better system for record listening enjoyment

I want to help my lovely future husband upgrade his system but we are paying for the wedding ourselves, so I am a bit on the budget end. First, he is a record collector and lover.  Right now, he has a turntable and receiver he has probably had since he first started listening to records - turntable: Technics SL-QD33; Receiver: Pioneer SX-312R with a phono input.  I would like to get him a new receiver with good phono for hopefully less than $500 for Christmas and turntable for either a wedding present or his birthday (which are both in the spring) for again, under $500.  Or vice versa.

In researching what to get him, my mind has literally been blown with the options and opinions and I need help.  Also, please excuse me if I mis-use audiophile phrases or statements because I am literally just learning this in my research process for my loved one.

I think he wants a receiver rathar than an integrated amp because we listen to the radio A LOT! However, if there is an integrated amp/tuner combo someone can recommend within my price range, I would definitely consider it.

For receivers, here is what I was thinking: Cambridge Audio Topaz SR10 or maybe I'll just spend the extra money and get the Outlaw Audio RR 2150. I was initially considering a Yamaha RS700BL or 500BL but I've read some bad things about its tuner.  Other things I've considered are the Denon DRA-397 and the Harmon Kardon 3490 but I've read some inconsistent things about reliability.  Please, any comments or suggestions on these or anything else would be greatly appreciated.

For a new turntable, I saw this Denon DP300F with a Ortofon 2M red cartridge that looked good but I have no clue. Others that I'm considering are the Pro-Ject debut carbon and Music Hall MMF-2.2 turntable.

I really appreciate your comments and suggestions on the items I've listed or any other thing you think I'd benefit from.  Thank you!

JoeE SP9
JoeE SP9's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 31 2005 - 6:02pm
TT's

I would choose the Pro-Ject or Music Hall over the Denon any day.

I also like the Cambridge Audio Topaz receiver.

What kind of speakers will you be using or planning on buying? If you don't have any you could consider a pair of Pioneer SP-BS22 speakers and S-8MK2 powered sub woofer.  

commsysman
commsysman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 46 min ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
SYSTEM

I would suggest the Music Hall 2.2 turntable; that is an excellent unit which I have been using for a couple of years.

For a receiver, I suggest the Onkyo TX-NR414, which is very good and only $285 from Amazon. In addition to regular AM and FM, it will give you streaming radio from the internet (such as Pandora, etc.). I think you will find those services to be very nice for your listening. You can also connect your TV to it via an HDMI or digital audio cable and send the TV sound thorugh the receiver to your good speakers. The TV sound will be greatly improved in that way.

For the phono preamp, I suggest that you get the Cambridge 551P, which is $139 at Needle Doctor. This will sound better than most phono stages that are built-in as part of a receiver.

 

I think he wants a receiver rathar than an integrated amp because we listen to the radio A LOT! However, if there is an integrated amp/tuner combo someone can recommend within my price range, I would definitely consider it.

For receivers, here is what I was thinking: Cambridge Audio Topaz SR10 or maybe I'll just spend the extra money and get the Outlaw Audio RR 2150. I was initially considering a Yamaha RS700BL or 500BL but I've read some bad things about its tuner.  Other things I've considered are the Denon DRA-397 and the Harmon Kardon 3490 but I've read some inconsistent things about reliability.  Please, any comments or suggestions on these or anything else would be greatly appreciated.

For a new turntable, I saw this Denon DP300F with a Ortofon 2M red cartridge that looked good but I have no clue. Others that I'm considering are the Pro-Ject debut carbon and Music Hall MMF-2.2 turntable.

I really appreciate your comments and suggestions on the items I've listed or any other thing you think I'd benefit from.  Thank you!

[/quote]

caineology
caineology's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Dec 1 2012 - 8:56am
Outlaw RR 2150 v. Cambridge Audio Topaz

Thank you for the suggestions above.  RE: the Music Hall 2.2 turntable, I know this may sound ignorant, but does that have adjustable speed? Also, does one have to take it to a store to have it set? Lastly, does it come with a dustcover? 

RE: the receiver.  I am definitely not in the market for any surround sound multi channel thing.  We don't have a TV (believe it or not) so some of the functions of such a receiver will go un-used.  This will be solely used for listening to music, where about 75% of the time it will be phono and 25% of the time it will be the radio. 

Basically, at this point, I am debating between the Cambridge Audio Topaz and the Outlaw Audio RR 2150. For the money, these ones seem to be the most consistenly highly reviewed and recommended.  Does anyone have any actual experience with either of these receivers?

JoeE SP9
JoeE SP9's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 31 2005 - 6:02pm
Music Hall TT

 What do you mean adjustable speed? 

The MMF-2.2 is a two speed 33/45 RPM TT. It's completely ready to use out of the box and needs no special tools or skills to set it up. Yes, it comes with a dust cover.

I can't help you with the receiver as I've never owned one. I will say I like the looks of the Cambridge Audio Topaz. Plus people who's opinion I respect say nice things about it.

commsysman
commsysman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 46 min ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
RECEIVER

The Marantz SR-4023 is another one you might consider. The Outlaw is very nice also.

The NAD Viso 3 also has a CD player built-in and has some good features, such as an Ipod dock and USB input. Audio Advisor has lowered the price on it from $899 down to $499. It seems very attractive, especially at that price.

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading