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HaroldL's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: Mar 17 2012 - 6:35pm
New System, need suggestions

Hey all,


I'm putting together a new system and I was looking for some guidance from folks who have tried this sort of thing before. I'm wanting to get started with a solid setup that I won't have to tweak too much for a few years, mainly focusing on vinyl, but with the option of hooking up a digital to analog converter a year or two down the line if I want to. So far I have narrowed the components down to a 2-3 options for each piece of the system, and I was hoping to get some feedback on the pieces that I'm looking at. 

Turntable: Project Debut III or Rega P1

Integrated Amp: Cambridge Audio Azur 650A or Outlaw RR2150

Speakers: KEF Q300 or Magnepan Magneplanar MMG (knowing that I would eventually want to invest in a sub with this option)


I liked the sound of the Magnepans a little better when I demo'd them today, but the KEFs certainly have more capability in handling lows. 

Any experience and/or wisdom would be greatly appreciated!

jackfish's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Looking good so far...

But I'd seriously consider the Music Hall MMF-2.2 over the Pro-Ject Debut III or the Rega RP1, Better cartridge and adjustable VTA. To help the MMGs with bass before you get a subwoofer you should place them ala Cardas so the low frequency backwave gets a better chance at propogation.

HaroldL's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: Mar 17 2012 - 6:35pm
Thanks for the advice. I've

Thanks for the advice. I've looked at the Music Hall MMF-2.2 but the price point is a bit discouraging. I was wondering though if I am willling to make that kind of investment if the music hall would be my best bet or if I should look at something like the Pro-ject RM 1.3. (This was also my concern with the Rega as it is considerably more expensive than the Debut III). 

Thanks again for your feedback!

commsysman's picture
Last seen: 3 days 11 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am

I would also suggest the Music Hall 2.2 Turntable; there is a lot for the money there. Audio Advisor and Needle Doctor sell it for $449. The Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp is a good one at a very low price (you must have a phono preamp...).

Audio Advisor has the Cambridge 550A for only $399 right now for a limited time; that might be a big money-saver for you, and it will drive most speakers very well. I would jump on that while supplies last.

The Magneplanars do not require a huge power amplifier per se, but they do require an amplifier with a very low output impedance, which is almost the same thing in practice. I would suggest not getting the Magneplanars unless you will have an amplifier that is rated for at least 140 watts at 4 ohms.

A set of speakers with a better low-frequency range would make more sense, since decent subwoofers start at $500, and you need one with Magneplanars.

I suggest you consider the PSB Image B6 speakers ($550/pair) as well as the Q300.

HaroldL's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: Mar 17 2012 - 6:35pm
Thanks for the advice on the TT. Now on to receivers?

Ill give the Music Hall TT another look. Does anybody have any suggestions on the receiver choices? I've read a lot of great things about the Outlaw. I know the Cambridge is well trusted, but I really want to make sure that I get the best bang for my buck. 

Thanks again.

jeffrey's picture
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: Mar 21 2012 - 11:10am
I've always enjoyed Cambridge

I've always enjoyed Cambridge Audio. I can remember an Azur 840C playing a set of Kef Q900's and it was blissful - amazing detail and the imaging was very precise. The two went very well together, it was like a match made in heaven. At the time we also had the Azur 650A hooked up to the same speakers and they could pump them just fine. I think the 550 for that great deal as mentioned above + the Kef Q300 should make for an excellent listening experience.


The way I buy audio is not by price - sure, I have a budget, but the final product never determines how much I am willing to spend or if I am getting best bang for the buck. Everyone is different and has their own preferences about how they want their audio to sound, and really the best way to figure it out is to listen to it and I always say if you really enjoy it, go for it. There are always going to be hundreds of different options to look at but you have already picked out excellent candidates for a rocking system, so I think you've already got it. Not to mention the pricing on Cambridge is reasonable too.

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