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mr. mustard
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Advice on integrated amps

Hello,

Currently looking to setup a stereo system. I’ll be mostly playing vinyl on a vintage AR turntable and music through iTunes. On the speakers, I’m pretty much set on a pair of Paradigm Atoms. Amp, however, can’t decide between a NAD C316BEE, Marantz PM5004 or PM6004. I haven’t been able to listen to the phono on neither the NAD (PP2) or Marantz PM5004, but I’ve listened to cd’s played on both. Any opinions on the phono of these amps and pairing with the Atoms? Also, I mention the PM6004 as it can be found for $50 more than the PM5004; worth it?
I'm fairly new at hi-fi, just looking for some advice. Thanks !

commsysman
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Choices

Those are all fairly good amplifiers, but in general those phono stages are mediocre at best, and will compromise the sound quality. I advise you to get the Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono stage, which is $200, and the sound quality will be much better. It is the best I have heard for under $500; really excellent.

I would prefer the NAD 316 amplifier.

MartinSkrtel37
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commsysman wrote:
commsysman wrote:

Those are all fairly good amplifiers, but in general those phono stages are mediocre at best, and will compromise the sound quality. I advise you to get the Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono stage, which is $200, and the sound quality will be much better. It is the best I have heard for under $500; really excellent.

I would prefer the NAD 316 amplifier.

So the Musical Fidelity phono stage combined with the NAD C 316BEE would be considered a top entry level/budget turntable set up? I've been doing a lot of research on finding the right pieces of hardware (phono stage + amp) and your post seems to have the best summary.

I don't think I'll use this set up for anything but vinyl. I haven't decided on speakers yet either but I have good headphones and want to make sure I get these parts right first. I only have a budget turntable, the Project Essential.

Thanks for any help from the forum - have used Stereophile a lot in my research and realised the forum was popping up again and again so I decided to sign up, hopefully I can hang around and learn a few more things!!

bierfeldt
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I would tend to agree with Commsysman

The phono stage on both is mediocre. That being said, you are not going to find an entry point integrated with a great sounding phono stage. I would get the NAD. An early upgrade would be that Musical Fidelity phono stage. If you don't have the cash for it initially, you will appreciate it that much more once you get and install it.

That being said, combined together you would be at a similar price point to the Music Hall 15.3A. I would defer to Commsysman as to which is the better sounding setup. I have no direct experience listening to these two setups. I have heard all three parts but have never heard the Musical Fidelity phono stage into the NAD. My gut tells me the Musical Fidelity phono stage would beat the Music Hall, but the Music Hall amp would beat the NAD.

MartinSkrtel37
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Well I am now using the NAD

Well I am now using the NAD C316BEE with the Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono stage. My turntable is the Project Essential and I am using some old Aaron Hi-Fi speakers, which I can't find much information on, they have serial numbers but Google didn't help with them. All I know is that Aaron are Australian.

I am happy with how it sounds, but I need a sub to bring the bass out of my electronic music. Am I okay to buy basically any sub and attach it to my system?

bierfeldt
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Some sound better than others

The Infinity Primus PS410BK is a good value at $299. The Primus PS312 is a better value at $399. The NHT B-10D would be the best choice at $599, I am not sure if that is above your budget. There are other inexpensive subs out there that sound good . These Infinity units are more musical that most in that modest price range. My next choice would probably be a Polk though it is critical that you attach any Polk using speaker level inputs to take advantage of the internal crossover or they will sound bad.

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