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winky
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Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn

I used to Ben Franklin quote to point out that I am indeed a newbe know nothing, but in this age of information only the willing can continue to be ignorant.

I know nothing about audio equipment. The sad thing is I collect cds but proper audio set ups are an enigma... which is even more awkward because I am a traind electrician. I just find the aduio world more overwhelming then a project at a home from the 1960s. This is mostly from the selection process.

I am not an audiophile. I don't really want to be. I just love music. I'd listen to it from a coffee can if I liked the sound. I collect cds (about 800plus) and listen to them through my laptop mostly which is connected to H/K speakers. It sounds good enough for me and offers good portability. I probably could have gotten by with this for a while I inherited a record collect and listened to some of them at a friends (we listened to mostly folk) and now I want to set up a center system that ca handle both the records and cds.

Pretty typical question I'm guessing? But I have another addiction besides music, mid-century modern furniture. I don't want my set up to look out of place in all the teak and plywood. I haven't decided on putting it on a credenza with my TV or doing some sort of stand alone shelf system. So I guess I am asking to newbe questiong of helping and explaining to me what I need while helping me with the aesthetics of it all.

I am on a budget. I would like to keep it cheap, like I said I am not an audiophile and won't notice the difference 5grand will buy me. I have been thinking Rega for the turntable but have no idea for a receiver, or cd player. The speakers are what I see as the most important because they way they look will have the pass the significant others judgement. I'm thinking something small and RETRO looking would be great. Is there a company that still cater to the retro look?

Once again thanks for any help, and excuse and typos I am getting used to a smaller keyboard.

judicata
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Start with the TTs below $1000 post. .

BUT, wouldn't this SOTA Sapphire look fantastic with your decor? I can just see that with a beautiful tube preamp.... But, back to Earth.

I've been eyeing a SOTA myself. But I am currently very happy with my more humbly priced Rega P2.

So, what is your budget more precisely (if you don't mind)? I assume you'll want
(1) Turntable
(2) CD player
(3) Speakers
(4) Integrated Amp (or separate pre/power amp)

dcstep
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Welcome Winky.

Follow jidicata's advice and then let us know what further questions that raises.

Dave

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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Welcome, Winky.

Right now, the place to start is at a local Hi Fi shop for some listening to see just what you 'can' hear and at what point you think what you hear matters, or not.

If there is a local Hi Fi club, see if you can get a listen to some people's gear.

Depending on where you live, maybe you could listen to some systems belonging to people here.

Going to Hi FI shows would be way cool, too.

At this point, it's time to explore what things sound like before you buy anything.

As the audiophile carpenter used to say, "Listen twice, buy once."

winky
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Don't laugh at me but to my significant other this important and potential deal breaker... is there a company that produces retro like speakers. I mean something like the 60s and 70s. This is all pretty dumb but if you want an idea of our place the magazines DWELL, ATOMIC HOUSE, MODERNISM would give you an idea.

As far as budget $1500 sounds right in these economic times... still doable?

Josh

judicata
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

No one's laughing. Maybe a knowing grin, but no laugh.

$1500 for the whole system?

dcstep
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Look around at the used equipment at www.audiogon.com for some actual retro, reburbished old school equipment. IMHO, the newer stuff is better, but you stated goals can probably be met with some equipment from the way-back school.

If you decide to buy used, be sure to check out the seller's background and feedback.

Dave

winky
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to


Quote:
No one's laughing. Maybe a knowing grin, but no laugh.


$1500 for the whole system?


Do you think that is too low? Like I said I'm not audiophile nut. My uncle is pushing a Rega p1 on me and I know they are budget minded but offer good sound.

It might be worth listing my music takes to help out.
I listen to a lot of folk, indie rock, indie pop, classic rock, metal, thrash, bluegrass, nugrass, older country.. is there anything I missed? I prefer clarity to volume. In fact the full volume will hardly if ever be heard. We have a great relationship with the neighbors and I can save rocking out to 'free falling' at full volume to car rides.

Elk
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

You can put together a nice system for $1,500. I think the question was more to determine if this is what you were thinking for turntable or for everything.

bifcake
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

If your budget is $1500 for everything, you could probably get a decent system, but I don't think you can get a decent system AND have a retro look. It's one or the other.

winky
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to


Quote:

If you decide to buy used, be sure to check out the seller's background and feedback.

Dave

That site you linked is great, now I've got some educating to do on some of the brands and models. I'm thinking I might look used at speakers but purchase new for the other components.

You've all been great. Internet communities are hit and miss, sometimes it's like all civility is left off the keyboard.

Josh

winky
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to


Quote:
If your budget is $1500 for everything, you could probably get a decent system, but I don't think you can get a decent system AND have a retro look. It's one or the other.

Interesting. I would think the retro look would be cheaper if I am buying used. Does your statement refer to buying new equipment that has a retro look?

Josh

bifcake
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

I meant that you can get old stuff with a retro look, but it won't sound all that great. Conversely, if you buy newer stuff, it won't have the retro look, but it will sound better. If you want good sounding stuff with retro look, it's going to cost you a mint.

judicata
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

You can do a system for $1500 - As Elk pointed out, I was just clarifying whether you meant just the TT. My system being around $2,000 I can't really scoff at spending a "mere" $1,500 on a system. (Just a fair warning - I started out at $1,800 and I'm working up to spend well over twice that, although I'm satisfied with what I have. )

You can do the Rega P1 with the stock cart, and I think you'll be satisfied with it (until you get an upgrade bug). A retro-looking integrated amp may take some searching. I have a Marantz PM7001 I am very happy with (about $500 new), but I can't recommend the phono input for it (it may be fine, but it didn't do well for me, so I'd recommend grabbing another phono pre). But assuming you can find a decent retro-looking integrated amp for about $500, plus the P1, we're still under $1000 (sans speakers). If you have a DVD player, you can listen to it and see if you're happy. Then you might be able to hold off on the cd player for awhile, which would open up more of your budget for speakers.

You can get cables on the cheap from places like bluejeans (my choice), which will be less than $100 for the whole rig.

You may do well to find the speakers first, and then look for the amp.

smejias
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to


Quote:
As far as budget $1500 sounds right in these economic times... still doable?

Hey Josh.
Absolutely. You'll just have to shop around a little bit. My uncle Omar recently put together a system of Rega P1, B&W DM602 loudspeakers, and Pioneer SA-7100 receiver (with phono!) for just around $400. And it sounds pretty damn good.

bifcake
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Not exactly retro looking stuff.

Elk
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Turntables look a bit retro even if they are modern. The '50s were full of rocket fins, gleaming chrome, etc. Wood is good also.

Most box speakers with wood look at least somewhat retro.

The amplification is the hardest. Tube equipment would be perfect, but it is typically more expensive.

This is fun.

(Kudos everyone for trying to help without fussing that how it looks is irrelevant.)

jackfish
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Rega P1 Improved by LP Gear $395
ProJect Phono Box II $114
Jolida JD1301A hybrid integrated amp $370
Oppo DV-980H universal player $169
Infinity Primus P362 loudspeakers $400/pair

$1448 total

One could listen to this system for a long time if they refrained from slumin' around listening to more expensive stuff.

judicata
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to


Quote:
(Kudos everyone for trying to help without fussing that how it looks is irrelevant.)

I won't lie. The thing is sitting in my living room - I want it to be pretty.

WAIT! I have an idea!

If your other half is way into the retro look and aesthetic, you can buy some of this stuff (including a gorgeous tube amp), and try to pass it off as just buying another piece of furniture. It makes the place look more retro. You can get the wooden SOTA sapphire this way too...

Because this is something I would try to do, it is almost certain to fail. But I would try it anyway

winky
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Jackfish,
Thanks for doing a lot of work for me.

I can't only blame the girly for wanting to keep with the decor... it's a shared passion. Actually we have found with speakers we have been pretty happy with the look when you keep the grill off.

And yes kudos to everyone for the help. Now I have to leave.. I have a garage sale tip that their is a bin with a lot of old folk records.

winky
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Would my Oppo dv971h double as a cd/dvd player? I mean a decent one? Or would a purpose built cd player be worth it? The Oppo is great for my dvds and I don't plan to upgrade so I'm wndering if I should just include this in my system I am building here.

jackfish
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

I'm using an Oppo DV-970HD in one of my systems for music, but I also play SACDs and DVD-As on it. Your Oppo will be a servicable CD player but you would notice a marked difference with certain dedicated CD players. But then your budget might be busted as well.

BillB
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to


Quote:
Would my Oppo dv971h double as a cd/dvd player? I mean a decent one? Or would a purpose built cd player be worth it? The Oppo is great for my dvds and I don't plan to upgrade so I'm wndering if I should just include this in my system I am building here.

Yes, that will do fine.

Elk
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to


Quote:
Jackfish,
Thanks for doing a lot of work for me.


He is a wonderful resource with great knowledge in this area.


Quote:
Actually we have found with speakers we have been pretty happy with the look when you keep the grill off.


I am surprised. This seems decidedly modern. Mid-19th century was all about enclosed systems in cabinets and speakers behind grill cloth. The desire seemed to be to hide the system and disguise it as a piece of furniture, even with doors that close over the speaker grills when the system is not being used.

winky
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Modern can blend with mid-century ecspecially whens that's what most designers are emulating. We have given up trying to conceal the components in our existing credenza and instead using the look make them more like decor. Speakers with the grill off and contrasting colors looks incredibly like a haeger bowl I have sitting on one of my tables.

It's all about imagination right?

Elk
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Great approach. Aesthetics over historical "accuracy". Much more fun, too, I bet.

winky
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to


Quote:

I am surprised. This seems decidedly modern. Mid-19th century was all about enclosed systems in cabinets and speakers behind grill cloth. The desire seemed to be to hide the system and disguise it as a piece of furniture, even with doors that close over the speaker grills when the system is not being used.

I should clarify, we are not going for mid century audio equipment. We are just trying to integrate a modern system into our apartment that is decorated with modern (mostly mid-century) furniture.

I'm not sure if Elk's post is sarcastic but we aren't creating a museum in our small apartment.

Jackfish,
I think I am going with most of the stuff you listed after reading about it all online, but substituting my own Oppo to save on the budget and put it into speakers. We're thinking of putting the Rega P1 on the credenza next to my LCD TV.We are going to build a shelving unit on the wall with a chase inside the wall to conceal the wires but leave the rega on the credenza. The girly won't go for putting any holes in the credenza as it is a Knoll original and she would go Lorena Bobbit on me .

I got the wall shelf idea from Designaddict.com, another forum I visit. It seems like I'm not the first to have this problem with wanting the aesthetic of a new entertainment system to blend. The only thing I have not settled on is speakers. I'm not sure I am going to go with Infinity and might looked used. Any suggested reading on older speakers (I like the B&W linked earlier)? I really think I would be happy with a three speaker system.. a center speaker (under the the credenza or mounted above it) and two towers off to the sides maybe? I am much more concerned with music clarity then movie watching though it would have to be better then the speakers that are now on my sharp we use to watch movies.

Once again you guys have been great. I'll try to post a picture of my place currently or ACad up the layout of my place.

Item 1033 is a pretty close example of our knoll piece except we have wooden legs. Treadway tends to be exspensive, so don't take all the prices too serious. The deals I usually make are garage sales.. just like my records. Garage sales turn into an addicction.
http://www.treadwaygallery.com/ONLINECATALOGS/DEC2004/1001-1050.html

bifcake
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Talk about VINTAGE!

Here are some more

vintage looking stuff

Marantz

Altec

Klipsch

More Klipsch

I realize that this is way above budget, but it was fun to look for it.

loonykev
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Elk, Wasn't mid-19th century more about singing round a piano? Did you mean 1950s, i.e mid 20th century ?
Regards, loonykev

jackfish
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Now that you've increased your speaker budget you can think about listening to:

Paradigm Monitor 7
PSB Alpha T1
Monitor Audio RS5
Monitor Audio BR6
B&W 685
B&W DM602.5 S3

Elk
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to


Quote:
Elk, Wasn't mid-19th century more about singing round a piano? Did you mean 1950s, i.e mid 20th century ?
Regards, loonykev


Ooooops!

winky
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Jackfish,
Why do you recomend the Jolida JD1301A hybrid integrated amp? I can find very little on it and almost no reviews.

winky
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Anyone have any expierence with portable turntables? It'll take me some time to save up for my entire system and having a portable turntable could find uses after I get a more permenant system.

I just want to listen to my records already.. I'm patient to a point, but have some gems that need to be played. Is there a portable turntable worth a darn out there?

smejias
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to


Quote:
Anyone have any expierence with portable turntables? It'll take me some time to save up for my entire system and having a portable turntable could find uses after I get a more permenant system.

I just want to listen to my records already.. I'm patient to a point, but have some gems that need to be played. Is there a portable turntable worth a darn out there?

Portable or suitcase turntables look cool, but the sound quality is just nowhere near what you'd get from even an entry-level Rega, Pro-Ject, or Music Hall 'table. I would say, if you can't wait, go ahead and buy one -- I would just choose the coolest-looking one -- but don't spend more than $75, if possible. Any more money that that, and you're just stealing from your budget.

BillB
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

Not aware of any worthwhile portable turntables. On the other hand, any of the turntables mentioned so far (Rega P1, etc) are portable -- unplug, lift and carry carefully.
I vote go ahead with the Rega!

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

The Jolida 1301 is a little bass shy, but for its size not bad. I belive it has a tone controls to help? Make sure. The Jolida 1501 and 1701 are both excellent buys. www.underwoodhifi.com

You might look at the little Parasound basic amp. AudioAdvisor had a refurb one on their site for $199 which would be a good buy.

JIMV
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Re: Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to

As I recall, Mapleshade sells rebuilt and modernized classic amps and receivers for very good prices. You might want to chack it out.

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