There is just one thing that is important when choosing components and that is the sound quality YOU here when listening to your music. When asking for advice about components I would recommend that you take some of your favority CD's to your hi-fi dealer to audition the products. As for money, I know we all have to live within our means but I can tell you this from experience; it's better to wait till you have more dollars than to invest in a systemt that you may not be happy with. I made the mistake of getting a Pioneer Elite Receiver ($1200) and Thiel .5's ($800) and had to live with that for 3 years. It was aweful and as soon as I got my Arcam Solo and Paradigm Studio 100's I realized what I was missing.
Well Said.... Do your homework, and take your time demoing and buying new gear. It's part of the fun. -Z
Excellent advice on saving up for the good system and doing a lot of demos(listening) before buying.
As a student then, I could not afford anything decent-sounding for speakers, so I built my own, and learned a lot about drivers, enclosures, crossovers, etc. That led to more learning and construction, and improving what I built. That led to tweaking other equipment and has continued from there. From music lover/player to technical knowledge to audiophile, and still counting.
Instead of saving $$$, I spent along the way and learned too. This path worked for me, and I knew what I had didn't sound "great", and only later was able to afford "great" sound.
try to form a relationship with your dealer. the reason is that you want him to be there for you when you have questions or problems. one part of that idea is controversial, it involves the internet. i know everyone wants to save money (me too). however, if you go in and take 3 hours of your dealer's time and then buy on the net, he will not be there for long. from personal experience, i can say that my area is loosing my favorite dealer as we speak for this very reason. he recently tested my turntable and installed a new cart. for me with no charge for labor. yes, i paid a little (not much) more up front, but it has been made up for in spades and i am very sorry to see him close up shop.
your dealer can help you put together an integrated system on your budget because he knows the components that sound well together. for example, i was looking at a particular speaker, but he really steered me away from it because he did not think it would sound good with my amp. before i went to this shop, i never thought of a system as a system, only a bunch of parts. keep your ears open to what he is saying to you. i thought i knew alot about audio when i went in and i have been getting an education for the past 2 years.
this is a great hobby and it doesn't take a fortune with the proper mentoring.
good luck to all.
Listening and forming your own opinion is key.
But the problem is that listening at your local dealer doesn't really do justice to what you will hear in your listening room.
But whatever you do, don't listen at your local dealer and then buy on the internet to save a few bucks. That is just plain wrong and we all know it.
Good points. I used to go to regular dealers and discuss many audio topics. Got a chance to buy and try from them. Customer support was always there.. Unfortunately, they went out of business with a cash flow issue from what I understand. This was way before internet, so that was not it.
I agree completely that it's very important and extremely satisfying to have a relationship with a dealer. I like my dealer so much - and trust their judgment regarding what is the best equipment in a given price range - that I will not go anywhere else to buy, or even to audition. If I stay in the area, I will continue doing business with my local shop for years to come. I owe most of my experience and success in this hobby to the patience and mentoring of my dealer.
I also frown upon auditioning at a dealer and buying online. Anyone who makes the choice to buy online ought to have the integrity not to use dealer resources for personal gain.
Unfortunately, many dealers located in Manhattan won't give you the time of day unless you are looking to spend big bucks on equipment. Dealers, at least from my experience, spend time on their big spenders, the $50,000 home-theater customers.
Yes it is WRONG to waste dealer-time. But it is also wrong for dealers to expect you to mortgage your home before entering their stores.