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mulamutti
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Newbie - What system do you suggest under 2000$

Hey,
Let me first tell you that I'm a complete newbie to listening to any type of high quality music.

I'm interested in getting a bookshelf speaker system, with an amp and a CD player. How do you guys suggest I should go about allocating my budget? After some very basic research and walking into a store, I came up with
Arcam CD Player (1000$)
Paradigm Reference Studio 20s (1000$)
Denon AM/FM amp at about 500$(dunno model no.).
Is this the right proportion to go for? e.g. should I be spending so much on a CD player, or is it wiser to go for a 500$ CD player along with more expensive speakers/amp.

I listen to some jazz, lotta reggae music and some hip hop/etc. What do you guys suggest? Please feel free to critique the above setup.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Newbie - What system do you suggest under 2000$

Find out what you can truly get out of that $2,000. Keep in mind that it doesn't have to come off a store shelf. It sounds like you want a traditional two channel system.

I'm excited about Outlaw RR2150. See the Issue Forums. Stereophile did a complete favorable review for this receiver amp. Demand is so high right now that you will have to go on a waiting list. I think right now it is about a two month wait. Still, not bad for about $600. You can select the rest of your components around this art-deco monster.

http://ubb.outlawaudio.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/forum/f/17.html

http://www.stereophile.com/integratedamps/306outlaw/

Monty
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Re: Newbie - What system do you suggest under 2000$

Like everyone else, I have my preferences and biases. I would allocate my budget something along the lines of:

CD Player.....300-500
Integrated Amp.....500-700
Speakers and Stands....500-1000
Speaker cable...100
Interconnect....100
Component Rack...150

For electronics, I would look at NAD, Cambridge Audio, Jolida, Marantz.
For speakers I would look at Epos, PSB, Wharfedale, Dynaudio.
For cables and interconnects I would go with Audioquest or Kimber.
The rack and stands would probably come from Audio Advisor or from the dealer that I purchased the other gear from.

The first thing I would recommend is picking up Robert Harley's book, The Complete Guide to High End Audio or finding a local dealer that you are comfortable with.

uofmtiger
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Re: Newbie - What system do you suggest under 2000$


Quote:
I'm excited about Outlaw RR2150. See the Issue Forums. Stereophile did a complete favorable review for this receiver amp. Demand is so high right now that you will have to go on a waiting list.

I got a letter from Outlaw saying that the place they were using to build the units has been a major problem. They have switched facilities to get the units out faster. I got the feeling from the letter that the price may go up a bit if you are not already on the waiting list when they start turning them out.

I like NHT SB2 and Sb3 speakers at the lower price points.

rmilewsk
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Re: Newbie - What system do you suggest under 2000$

Their prices have already gone up a little. I think you will be safe from outlaw's prices going up for a while.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Newbie - What system do you suggest under 2000$

You're right. The price had to go up 10%. I think they pride themselves on good customer service as well. Very personal customer service.

You are working with a modest budget and you shouldn't be disappointed with the allocation suggested by Monty. As for putting something together that sounds great on an embarrassing budget; I'm the master!? I'm a major cheapskate or I would have gotten on that waiting list for the Outlaw. I ended up with a reconditioned Harman Kardon HK3380, which was a major upgrade for me. I wanted a great pair of loudspeakers on the cheap as well so I did a lot of homework and ended up with a mint pair of 30+ year old Sansui SP2500s. I'm so freaking cheap that I read a good review on the Realistic LAB440 turntable (probably made by Hitachi or something like that) written in 1978. I watched Ebay for months. Lost many bids. You won't believe how much people will bid on an old turntable just to get it so they can copy their vinyl to digital. Anyway, I ended up, finally, with one for $40. I rewired it, put a larger ground cable on it, changed the cartridge to a AT70L and voila!, a cheap and damn good sounding turntable. My system looks like crap, in as much, my components span 4 decades but it sounds great. Next thing I want to get is a good TEAC reel-to-reel player from the 1960s or early 1970s. What I'm driving at is what is your motivation? To get something great and budget with everything current or figure out how things work and put something together on a shoestring budget. Both are great adventures. I just enjoy the hunt and in the process reduce the learning curve. I'm not concerned about how it looks. It just needs to sound great. Luckily and ironically, my wife doesn't seem to mind as well. Most of the components are in a cabinet and the loudspeakers are in mint condition. Also, my custom loudspeaker cabinets made out of solid red oak and weigh a ton aren't an eyesore. That was a pain in the ass. The oak was like decades old and nearly hard as a granite. I had to get my cousin-in-law who owns a cabinet shop to make the cuts for me. I don't consider my system a monster or an "audiophile" grade but it will vibrate the foundation of the house without distortion at about 110dB. And I'm talking about an 80W system peaked. My normal listening comfort is about 90dB. All together I would have to guess that my system cost me over the years about a thousand dollars (maybe a little more or less). Almost entirely on my own without input. Just research, research, research.

Buddha
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Re: Newbie - What system do you suggest under 2000$

Culpeper's advice is awesome.

The only thing I might add is to use your budget in such a way that when you upgrade later (which, once infected with the Hi-Fi disease, we all do) that you can keep as many original components as possible.

For what you have in mind, focus resources on speakers and the integrated, and skimp a little on the CD player. Digital playback, I think, changes faster than the other stuff, and an upgrade later will get you farther with this segment than with the others...IMHO.

As your ear gets better and you want to improve things, then you can shoot your next wad on a really good digital source and keep the other stuff.

Buy the highest quality of any given part of your system as you can, and when you upgrade, you'll have less to replace.

I hope that made sense, it's wine night here.

Also, keep us posted on what you do and hang around and compare notes with us!

Cheers.

johnathank
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Re: Newbie - What system do you suggest under 2000$

After much shopping around, I settled on Klipsch. They sound great!

greenelec
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Re: Newbie - What system do you suggest under 2000$

Welcome to the insanity.
I would recommend:
$1000 CD Player- REGA Planet
Speakers- Klipsch Heresy
Amp, Small, Twenty Watts or so Tube Amp
Solid state, I would consider the Outlaw or NAD

The REGA cd players sound great with tubes. I had a rega,
Golden Tube, Klipsch La Scala System that Sounded great.
I have had Heresy, NAD combo that for the money was Awesome.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Newbie - What system do you suggest under 2000$


Quote:
After much shopping around, I settled on Klipsch. They sound great!

Which model?

ALF in AUS
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Re: Newbie - What system do you suggest under 2000$

This isn't an answer to the Klipsch question, but I too would be interested in hearing the answer.

So far as bang for your buck goes ...
I have a NAD 320BEE ss amp as one of my amps ... dirt cheap! I have had a fair bit of satire directed in my direction from various "audiophiles" for purchasing NAD and then being so stupid as to claim that this is a good little amplifier, but I cannot retract my opinion ... OK - I have heard better, and it doesn't have hand-blown glass tubes with gold plated pins or output capacitors filled with hand-rendered ferret fat, but in its price this is one of the better little amps I have heard... and I've heard a lot of amps over the last few decades.

If buying a new budget system, I'd direct most of my cash towards speakers - that's what interfaces with your ears in the end ... if you have a shed and tools, you can build your own and get much better bang for your buck (but that's not for everyone)...then an amp like my NAD, and a CD player of about the same cost - then Bob's your uncle!
If you are into vinyl, you'll need to make sure your amp has a phono stage tho'...
... but you can always upgrade and add on later.

cyclebrain
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Re: Newbie - What system do you suggest under 2000$

I'm one that has posted negative about NAD, but I still use a NAD amp to power my main speakers. I'm not sure what the problem is with NAD recently. Is it only their A/V stuff that sucks or is it all their current stuff?

ALF in AUS
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Re: Newbie - What system do you suggest under 2000$

I listened to a multi-channel NAD HT amp ... admittedly only for less than an hour, and in a less than ideal listening situation ... and I didn't like it at all. It didn't seem very articulate (if you get what I mean) and the bass was ponderous .
My 320BEE makes me quite happy - not perfect, but transparent and pretty articulate ... It did win a What HiFi (UK) award two years running ... It's bigger brother, what ever its numbers may be, is less lively, and a bit heavier and 'slower' in the bass (to my ears anyway.)
The old famous NADs of the 70s don't sound as good these days as they did then, but still OK ...
I use a veteran 2600 Monitor power amp for my bass drivers - below 100 Hz it's hard to fault ... full range, direct driven by CD player it sounds quite modern and lively ... but teamed up with its preamp it is a bit disappointing ... perhaps that is the NAD problem - the pre/power combination ... a lot more demanding in the HT amps, which sound a lot less classy ...
I don't know - I'm just musing over my morning cuppa (a disgusting habit I know )
If a newbie, or an oldbie, wanted to buy a good, inexpensive amplifier, I'd recommend the basic NAD integrated, but I wouldn't point him 'up' their range higher, because I think there is better to be had for the money.
ALF

StereoFanOregon
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Re: Newbie - What system do you suggest under 2000$

I would suggest that you also take a listen to another fine Canuck speaker, the Totem Rainmaker. The best bet is to create your own CD of favorite music and go audition. Try to get an in-home audition, just make sure the speakers are broken in.

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