I’m a musician and complete musicophile with a massive CD collection and digital music library, but have spent the past ten years moving around way too much to make it worth investing in expensive/heavy/high-quality audio equipment.
I’m about to settle in the Bay Area for the forseeable future and am finally ready to start investing audio equipment. I’ve read lots of great resources, including much from this site, but it’s a bit overwhelming to know exactly what to buy, so I would love some recommendations based on my needs.
At the moment, I’m only able to spend around $1000 (with a few hundred of wiggle room), with an eye towards future additions or upgrades as finances allow. I realize this is a tiny fraction of what many on this forum would consider necessary for a good system, and I understand I will be sacrificing quality, but I am looking for advice on how best to utilize the budgetI have.
I currently have the following components available to use if desired:
1. Sony STR-AV320 AM/FM receiver
2. JVC XL-F254BK cd player
3. Onkyo 6-CD/DVD player (DV-CP702 model or similar – it’s in storage at the moment)
4. iPhone and iPod with my music library (mix of lossless and high-bitrate AAC/mp3)
5. PC containing my music library with a somewhat noisy headphone output (noise is noticeable during silent or extremely quiet passages)
I want to be able to listen to the following sources:
3. PC (music, DVDs, Netflix streaming – I don’t have a TV)
Ideally, I would like a system to which I could add, at some point in the future:
1. A TV and BluRay player or Roku/streaming box (no cable TV)
2. A center channel speaker for movies and TV
I realize I won’t be able to get everything I need for $1000, so I’d love advice on the best ways to utilize that money now, realizing that I’ll want to both upgrade and add components in the future.
My thought is that it makes the most sense to start with speakers, an amplifier, and possibly a DAC or a better CD player.
As far as listening environment, I will be in a relatively small apartment and don’t tend to blast my music, so I don’t need anything super powerful. I listen to lots of acoustic/Americana/bluegrass, folk, traditional country, jazz, world music, and some pop/rock. I prefer a warm, natural sound. I want to hear the wood of acoustic instruments, etc.
From what I’ve read it seems like the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 could be a great starting point for my budget and space. Steve Guttenberg recommends the Jolida JD 301rc as a good amp to pair with that. Perhaps a Sony PS1 as a budget CD player that would be better than what I have now. That’s about as far as I’ve gotten. Would love your thoughts!