You are here

Log in or register to post comments
Stonehead
Stonehead's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 16 2008 - 10:19am
Advice for a noob audio nerd

I have a small starter system that I have been assembling through trades and upgrades since a coworker introduced me to the world of hi-fi with his Devore/Naim system, and I almost cried it was so amazing (not really, but if I was a crying type of guy...who knows?).

So I stared with some old NAD gear he let me borrow, and have since upgraded to a NAD C320BEE, the first Rega Planet CD player, and a pair of Kef Q50's. I also have a pair of Energy C-6 Connoisseurs that, on KBK's recommendation, I will be attempting to repair. Most of the music I listen to is on CD, or on my iPod, with a Monster brand 1/4" to RCA cable (don't worry, I use FLAC or ALAC exclusively). My taste ranges from Classical to Jazz to Bluegrass to Hip Hop. I love just about any music that is interesting and skillfully presented.

Here's where you all come in: I would like to upgrade my system. However, I am on a strict budget of no more than $200-300 per month available to these pursuits (I am 26 and just bought my first house, so money is tight).

I would like to add the capability to play music from my computer, I have about 400GB of mostly live recordings in lossless format.

I would like to add a headphone amp, possibly tube, and pair of reference headphones. About headphone amps, most of them have line level ins and outs, do these go in between the source and the pre? How does this affect sound quality?

I am thinking about getting into vinyl. DUN DUN DUUUUUNNNN. I have a Marantz 6300 TT in unknown condition (garage sale purchase), since the NAD does not have a phono stage. I know the world of vinyl is a rewarding one, but having no idea how to set up a TT or maintain one, I am hesitant to start spending money.

Also, I am always searching to upgrade my current gear, so any recommendations would be helpful, although, based on my reading it seems like the C320BEE is hard to touch in terms of SQ:$$.

Other than that, I am in Tacoma, WA and would love to know if there are others around with the same affliction as me, namely craving better sound, or shops in the area where I might get my fix.

Please excuse the long windedness, and I sincerely appreciate your time and any advice you may have.

-Mike

CharlyD
CharlyD's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 20 2006 - 4:01pm
Re: Advice for a noob audio nerd

Advanced Audio Systems in Tacoma is a very highly regarded emporium. Enjoy!

smejias
smejias's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Aug 25 2005 - 10:29am
Re: Advice for a noob audio nerd


Quote:
I am thinking about getting into vinyl. DUN DUN DUUUUUNNNN. I have a Marantz 6300 TT in unknown condition (garage sale purchase), since the NAD does not have a phono stage. I know the world of vinyl is a rewarding one, but having no idea how to set up a TT or maintain one, I am hesitant to start spending money.

Do it.

I mean, I highly recommend it.

If you want to learn more about how to set up a turntable, you can try Michael Fremer's 21st Century Vinyl DVD. It should help. You can start with an entry-level Rega or Pro-Ject for around $300. Set it up properly once, or have your dealer set it up for you (the Rega P1 comes completely set), and you really don't have to touch it again.

It's difficult to explain the pleasure that vinyl brings me. Since it was introduced to me last month, I've been completely obsessed. In a good way.

smejias
smejias's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Aug 25 2005 - 10:29am
Re: Advice for a noob audio nerd

If you're interested in vinyl, you might want to read this. George Reisch was our "Philosopher in Residence." In this piece, he discusses the virtues of vinyl.

KBK
KBK's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 30 2007 - 12:30pm
Re: Advice for a noob audio nerd

as for going from your PC to your stereo at a decent price..here's a good website to start with.

http://www.audio-magus.com/product_p/kr_ud01.htm

piinob
piinob's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Aug 14 2007 - 11:31pm
Re: Advice for a noob audio nerd

Bravo! George gives us an excellent reminder of better days and the reason vinyl must live forever. Or at least a few minutes longer than Kenny G CD's1

Stonehead
Stonehead's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 16 2008 - 10:19am
Re: Advice for a noob audio nerd

Thanks for all the great advice! I've decided that vinyl is worth the effort, and this morning on the way to work, I saw some intrepid garage sellers doing their best in the lovely PNW spring weather (read: rain), so I stopped in. The had a small LP collection they were selling for $3 each! I asked how much for the box, they said $40, I counted up the LPs, there were 22, I figured what the hey. Lo and behold, I found some great stuff! Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, Velvet Underground, a lot of stuff I listen to now on CD! They are not mint, by any means, except for a couple, but all in good shape. So it looks like a win, and it looks I'll be heading to Advanced Audio this weekend to get started!

Any thoughts on my gear? I'm interested in what the next step up would be, for my integrated and CDP. I think since my NAD doesn't have a phono stage, I'll be choosing between the NAD, Rega and Cambridge Audio, based on the prices I've seen. Is there much of a difference in these?

Thanks again!

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