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bugdet system

Newbie here; first post. I'm looking for a simple, basic ~$1000 system. Probably 2-channel will do it. I have only a $100 Sony DVD/CD player on which to watch DVD movies and play CDs. Just started looking. A sales guy said Rotel, NAD, and Marantz are the only companies that now make 2-channel integrated amps. I listened to Rotel reciever/CD combo with Paradigm Titan V5 Bookshelf monitors. I thought it sounded great; but then I've been out of loop for a few years on this stuff. Price offered was Rotel RA-1062 for $599, and the Paradigms for $450 (open box). It's about $150 off; totalling ~$1050.

Good system, good deal? Anything else I should consider?

Suggestions?

THANKS!!!!!!

bifcake
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Re: bugdet system
wkhanna
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Re: bugdet system

That seems reasonable, did you listen to it?
Cambridge Audio and others also make int amps in your price range. Don't know why you where 'told' otherwise.

Excusse me.....gotta go.....my Boguss meter just went off scale!!!?!?!?!!!!

wkhanna
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Re: bugdet system

10% off new ( more for demo or open-box ) for Rotel is considered typical, any more than that is even better, but uncommon.

wkhanna
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Re: bugdet system


Quote:

Can you buy this stuff on the net? Where?

THANKS!!!


http://www.audiogon.com/

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Re: bugdet system
soundboy
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Re: bugdet system


Quote:
Sorry, I wasn't clear. Can you buy NEW stuff (Rotel, Paradigm, see models below) on the net? If so, is it a LOT cheaper? I'm probably not interested in online auctions.

Can I do better price-wise on the net than his in-store prices listed below?
Paradigm Titan Monitors V5 $499
Rotel RA-1062 $599

I'm also a little uncomfortable buying over the net, because the obvious hassles. I've purchased a LOT of electric bass gear via the net almost without incident, but without hearing the stereo gear first makes me wonder....
THANKS!!!

Unfortunately, unless you want to give up on their factory warranties, both Rotel and Paradigm forbid online sales on their components.

On the other hand, Rotel and Paradigm aren't the only manufacturers building great budget gear. My current system came in well under $1,000 and it consisted of new components from Cambridge Audio, Energy, and a Sony CD/DVD, SACD player. Other brands you should consider include NAD and Marantz. Pioneer Elite also makes an awesome 2 channel integrated amp called the A-35R....very "below-the-radar".

Windzilla
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Re: bugdet system

Add the Outlaw audio RR2150 to your list.

shopping with a budget and online certainly presents problems for those of us who want to listen to our possible purchases first.

Personally, and this is probably going to get me flamed, but I would buy an amp without auditioning long before buying a set of speakers without the same.

my advice, put the listening time/effort/listening/money into the speakers first, then, if you want, bargain hunt for your components online and such.

cheers!

soundboy
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Re: bugdet system


Quote:
Personally, and this is probably going to get me flamed, but I would buy an amp without auditioning long before buying a set of speakers without the same.

my advice, put the listening time/effort/listening/money into the speakers first, then, if you want, bargain hunt for your components online and such.

cheers!

Totally agree.

I would suggest auditioning the brands of speakers/components available to you in your local area. Take notes and don't hurry yourself. Use your own music.

NHT speakers are generally less efficient than most other models. This is because of their acoustic suspense design and is not indicative of their quality. In fact, NHT produces some of the best speakers on the market. I think what the "mismatch" is caused by the lack of synergy between the NAD amp and the NHT speakers.

I'm looking into the Usher S-520 bookshelf monitor myself. They were tested by Stereophile and has been universally praised by both professional reviewers and owners. If you have a local dealer for Usher, check these out.

bifcake
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Re: bugdet system

Rega Mira is very musical. It's not the last word in power and slam, but it draws you into the music and envelops you in it like few components can.

59mga
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Re: budget system

I've heard all 3 of the devices you mention and much prefer the Mira. Just as AlexO said, it is "very musical". It may not have a great deal of watts (DUP) but it is plenty enough for me...I listen to the music not the volume.

59mga
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Re: bugdet system

Along with all the other brands that have been mentioned you may also want to consider; Arcam, Music Hall, Denon, Marantz, Outlaw, Onkyo, Yamaha. All have reasonably priced good sounding 2 channel equipment.

Get a copy of the 2007 Stereophile Buyer's Guide...many choices of very good gear. Check it out before making a purchase. Good luck and let us know what you decide.

smejias
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Re: bugdet system


Quote:
Get a copy of the 2007 Stereophile Buyer's Guide...many choices of very good gear. Check it out before making a purchase. Good luck and let us know what you decide.

Unfortunately, we're all sold-out of the 2007 Guide. The 2008 Guide will be available this November.

bifcake
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Re: budget system

I would get the Mira vs the Rotel. Then again, that's my preference. I believe the Mira was close to a grand when it was new.

wkhanna
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Re: budget system

Rotel typically has a 'warmer' sound, don't know about the Rega.

What traits do the speakers have that you are matching the int amp with?

It's all about the 'synergy'.

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Re: budget system

If you like the Rotel, then I think you'll like the Rega even more. I own a Brio and couldn't be happier.

I think that while other amplifiers in this class are clearly better than mass market stuff, the Brio is competitive with much more expensive gear. My speakers are Paradigm, if that helps you at all.

I have a modest system, so I also like the slim profile and unobtrusive design. Actually, a friend was over before and asked what "that thing on the second-to-bottom shelf" was. To non-audio geeks, it's not even clear that it's an amplifier, which I find cool.

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Re: budget system


Quote:
I'm going back today with my CDs.

Smart man!

Also, a personal opinion, if I may.....
Brighter, more detailed sounding equipment can be V impressive in the show room for a 45 minute session. However, when you get a system like that home, and listen for extended periods, it can sometimes be overwhelming and cause listening fatigue. What once sounded 'crisp, detailed, and realistic' becomes harsh and grating.
Audition carefully, and try to get a long (1

smejias
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Re: budget system

That's great news on the Rega. I'm jealous. I've heard all of the speakers you mention, except for the NHTs. I like them all A LOT. Have you read our reviews?

Usher S-520

Epos ELS-3

PSB Alpha B1

In my opinion, you can't go wrong -- unless you buy a speaker that you don't like. I think it just comes down to what you like the most.

bobedaone
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Re: budget system

Ordering speakers online is fine, but I think the consensus is that, if you choose to do so, you should not take the dealer's time and resources in order to audition them.

bifcake
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Re: budget system


Quote:
Ordering speakers online is fine, but I think the consensus is that, if you choose to do so, you should not take the dealer's time and resources in order to audition them.

I had no idea there was a consensus on this issue. Alas, that's a topic for a different thread.

bobedaone
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Re: budget system

There was a thread awhile back, and several people expressed that sentiment. "Consensus" is likely too strong a word; Plurality, maybe?

I feel that if you use the dealer's time to come to a decision on a piece of equipment, then buy elsewhere to save a few bucks, that's not cool. Even on my limited budget, I do what I can to keep local brick-and-mortar stores (especially the smaller, friendlier ones) in business.

I should be perfectly clear in stating that I am not at all opposed to online hi-fi shopping. The behavior I don't condone is online purchasing following dealer-facilitated auditioning.

Anyway, yes, I agree that this ought to be another thread. I just wanted to reply to you and explain my opinion.

Cheers,

CECE
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Re: budget system

When that becomes the way to buy, limiting how a consumer can choose how to purchase, we are screwed. Consumer wins, due to internet. Best thing ever invented for consumers. Find the best price, deals, services needed. An educated consumer ALWAYS checks things out online. It's just another natural resource for the smart consumer. If a dealer wants to remain a dealer, then he needs to adj and act accordingly, not be a stuffed fixed dieity. Smart dealers operate on line and off if they do it right. Mfgs who don't sell or do business online are stupid. Major giants like GE and Philips do lots of business online...no wonder they are $40 Billion dollar CE operations! Why is audio always something outside the world of REALITY?

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Re: budget system

testing 1, 2, 3 ;-)

I screwed somehting up and couldn't post for the last couple of days.

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Re: budget system

I have a pair of the Epos ELS-3s and quite like them. As discussed on a recent thread ("Sound lacks sufficient fury"), they have limitations when it comes to filling a large listening room, but I think that's going to be true of just about any bookshelf speaker.

For what it's worth I did listen to the PSBs when shopping for speakers and liked the Epos better. I'd love to hear the Ushers. The review Stephen linked to earlier compares the Epos and Usher speakers thusly:

--snip--
The Epos ELS 3 was more detailed and delicate in the midrange and highs than the Usher S-520, and far better at revealing ambience and hall sound. The Epos's midbass was clean and articulate and slightly less warm than the Usher's, though about as extended. The Epos compressed a bit on high-level dynamic passages; the Usher did not.
--snip--

davekoch
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Re: budget system

drowland,
Thank you, that helps a lot. The PSB B1 reviews are all glowing; but I can't find any up here to audition. It's sooooooo good to get a real-world opinion on those.

Plus, nice to hear you like your speakers. The Epos do indeed sound like a great speaker. A 4 ohm cab with 100 watts maximum....yummmm. Pretty snappy I'll bet.

The Ushers go down to 55Hz, which being a bassist, I like.
However, the impedance is 8 ohms, while the max power is only 50 watts. I'd guess you could drive 'em pretty hard; plus they're almost 14 lbs., so I'd bet they're pretty beefy.

Usher S-520
Two-way front-ported bookshelf loudspeaker.
1" UA25-10 silk-dome tweeter,
5" KSW2-5029B polypropylene-cone mid-woofer.
Sensitivity: 86dB/W/m.
Nominal impedance: 8 ohms.
Frequency response: 55Hz

drowland3550
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Re: budget system

Like I said, I really want to hear the Ushers. Mostly I listen to acoustic jazz and the Epos are great speakers for that. From the reviews, I suspect that the Ushers would be better for rock, soul, funk, and the like. Also, they look really cool.

bifcake
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Re: budget system

I'll complicate things more for you. Audition the monitor audio's silver series. I think they will sing with the Rega Mira.

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Re: budget system


Quote:
I'll complicate things more for you. Audition the monitor audio's silver series. I think they will sing with the Rega Mira.

Thanks AlexO for the suggestion; I'm sure it's a good one. But I ordered a pair of NHT Classic THREE's last week. Given my tendancy to obsess over things (as my wife will atest to), I have to just make a decision and not look back.

Elk
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Re: budget system

Nice choice, Dave.

No reason to look back.

bifcake
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Re: budget system

I agree. Good choice. Everyone of these choices would be a good one. It's all a matter of preference. Enjoy your system.

soundboy
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Re: budget system

Excellent choice.

I heard the NHT SB3 powered by a Classe integrated amp....shockingly good. From what I've read, the Classic Three improves upon the SB3. I can only imagine how good they'll sound.

Happy listening.

davekoch
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Re: budget system

My wife ordered the Oppo 980-H DVD player as a birthday present for me. I'm pumped. Thanks all the help, suggestions, and encouragement.

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Re: budget system


Quote:
My wife ordered the Oppo 980-H DVD player as a birthday present for me. I'm pumped. Thanks all the help, suggestions, and encouragement.

Sorry to inform you, but you can now kiss your wallet goodbye

bifcake
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Re: budget system


Quote:

Quote:
My wife ordered the Oppo 980-H DVD player as a birthday present for me. I'm pumped. Thanks all the help, suggestions, and encouragement.

Sorry to inform you, but you can now kiss your wallet goodbye

He kissed his wallet goodbye as soon as he started "thinking" about upgrading his system. This is not a kissing wallet goodbye thing, this is taking a plunge down the bottomless pit. When all is said and done, he's going to be divorced and living under a highway, begging for money so that he could spend it on room treatments to hang around his shelter he made out of cardboard boxes.

davekoch
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Re: budget system

Those comments are soooooo funny.....and true. Actually, that's exactly why I bought a used Rega.

My system is:
Rega Mira (used) - arrived safely and sounds fantastic!!
NHT Classic Three - scheduled to arrive tomorrow
Oppo DV-980H DVD Player - scheduled to arrive tomorrow
Straight Wire Musicable II Interconnects - new
12 gauge AWG speaker wire

I will update as the pieces arrive. I'm pumped!!!

soundboy
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Re: budget system


Quote:
I will update as the pieces arrive.

You mean "upgrade"

Fight the urge, Dave! Fight it!!

davekoch
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Re: budget system

soundboy,
I surrender...I surrender...OMG....I can't handle any more of this....

The NHT Threes came today. Sweet, warm, understated. Nothing is jumping out at me. For this old fool, that's good, because I'm prone to being over-zealous about first impressions on products. Excitable boy - RIP Warren. Anyway, I'm hearing things I hadn't heard before on the Nora Jones first CD. (Could be that I wasn't paying attention before....I kid...) I'm starting out soft with the speakers. Do you folks believe in breaking in speakers? I kinda do, so I'm playing low-key CDs right now.

bifcake
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Re: budget system

I find that speakers and tube gear tend to need a break in. Solid state - not so much.

Elk
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Re: budget system

No need to be gentle with them. Whatever break-in they need (if any) will occur more quickly if you give them a workout.

What's the audio equivalent of "drive it like you stole it"?

bobedaone
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Re: budget system


Quote:

What's the audio equivalent of "drive it like you stole it"?

Crank it like a D.J. (or DUP).

davekoch
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Re: budget system

Man, the THREEs are sooooooo nice. Definition, warm, sweet, flat.....yummmmm. Plus my wife thinks they sound great - so it's all down-hill from here. Just waiting on the Oppo 980H now.

wgriel
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Re: budget system


Quote:
Man, the THREEs are sooooooo nice. Definition, warm, sweet, flat.....yummmmm. Plus my wife thinks they sound great - so it's all down-hill from here. Just waiting on the Oppo 980H now.

Congratulations!

I haven't heard the NHTs but they do have a good reputation. They are a pretty interesting design as well. You don't see a 3-way acoustic suspension standmount very often!

59mga
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Re: budget system


Quote:
Man, the THREEs are sooooooo nice. Definition, warm, sweet, flat.....yummmmm.

I'm glad to hear you enjoy the Three's "sooooooo" much. Have you heard to the Four's, by chance? Been trying to find an NHT dealer in my part of the world to a give these guys a listen. I've read several complimentary reviews on both the 3's and 4's...glad to hear the same from an actual owner.

davekoch
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Re: budget system

I have not heard the Four's. The Three's sound great at low volumes; actually I've only listened to calm jazz (early Miles, Monty Alexander, Diana Krall, etc.) at low volumes. I tend to agree with breaking-in the speakers, as this is also recommended for new boutique bass guitar cabs as well. They tend to tighten up over time. At least, that's what "they say". I did crank-up/rock-out the Three's at a store listening to Little Feat and Arc Angels. They performed well; noticeably they were balanced throughout volume ranges.

I believe the Four's are floor standing speakers, right? I did listen to Vandersteen 1C's. They may have a similar footprint/size. Whew, I loved those, they REALLY opened up the dynamic range!! Perhaps the Four's would be similar...?

wgriel
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Re: budget system


Quote:
I believe the Four's are floor standing speakers, right? I did listen to Vandersteen 1C's. They may have a similar footprint/size. Whew, I loved those, they REALLY opened up the dynamic range!! Perhaps the Four's would be similar...?

While I've never had a chance to hear any NHTs (no dealers anywhere near me), I understand that the Fours are basically Classic Three's in a floorstanding form factor with built in subs. I imagine they would really rock!

Bill

59mga
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Re: budget system


Quote:
The Three's sound great at low volumes;...

This is good news for I refrain from listening in the 3 digit dB range.


Quote:
I believe the Four's are floor standing speakers, right?

Yes, the Four's are floor standing with a 10"(?) non-powered sub. They can be bi-wired/amped and even though the reviews say the sub does a good job of adding bass, whether mono or bi-wired, I'd like to hear these guys bi-amped.


Quote:
I did listen to Vandersteen 1C's. Perhaps the Four's would be similar...?

I've heard various Vandersteen models but never the 1C...I'll check with my local Vandersteen dealer and see if he has them for a demo.

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