Hello all, I have been reading this forum for a few weeks now and I am ready (and most grateful) for any advice. Regrets in advance for the length of this post….
Without going into too many personal details, I’ll just start by saying that I’m in my 50’s and am now looking to rediscover my long neglected love of music (which began when I was 13 and saved-up enough money to purchase my first Pioneer turntable, receiver and speakers). Fast forward many years – I’ve had some mediocre small systems over the years, lost my job, sold my house and gone is the fat paycheck that would have been more than enough to dedicate $10K to an audio system. Such is life.
I now live in an apartment with 20’ x 12’ living room, really enjoying a simpler lifestyle, but have cash to invest in an audio system. Not really sure how much I want to dedicate to it, but I’m thinking around $1500 - $2000. I initially started looking on Crutchfield, but they seem more oriented toward home theatre gear. I do enjoy streaming movies over my Roku and would like to have better sound for my 40” Flat screen, but since my quest is to pursue a high quality music listening, I don’t see the need to set-up a surround sound system. So here are my questions:
1. I need to rebuild a music collection. I have a bunch of CDs (some of which I would like to listen to), but there are so many artists and recordings that I want to explore. My music tastes are wide-ranging (from opera and classical to blues, folk, rock, and solo artists – remarkably to me, even some country). I have read so much about streaming music sources (Spotify, Pandora etc) and love the idea of having that as a cost effective way of building/accessing a music library, but (a) how much do those sources compromise on the recording quality, and (b) what is the best way to integrate those services into a decent home audio experience? I am also quite intrigued by the comeback of vinyl…perhaps I can add a turntable down the line. I want to begin building a music collection in a cost-effective way until I decide whether to add a turntable.
2. Thoughts on the NAD C515BEE CD player? Alternatives?
3. After deciding the best way to build my music sources (which I would really like to include streaming/cloud services), I assume my next decision is my amplifier. Thoughts on the NAD C316BEE and Marantz PM6004? Other options? And if I go with an integrated Amp, what is the best way to add a streaming source?
4. I was looking hard at the Polk RTi A3’s, but read so many raves about the Wharfedale 10.1’s. Then as I further considered it, if I place a pair of bookshelf speakers on stands, the footprint wouldn’t be very much bigger than say, the Magnepan MMGs. I do have space limitations, but would it make sense to go with the MMGs over higher-end bookshelf speakers that will be on speaker stands. Again, any thoughts on alternatives?
5. Since I do want to upgrade my movie viewing sound, can I integrate a system such as the one above into my video source, which primarily will be streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime? Or, should I just go for a modest soundbar?
Again, many thanks for your input!