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jwilliam
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Please Cast Your Votes!

I have scaled back my budget for a new two-channel, three-piece system, and have narrowed my choices to the following, which are all rated at least Class B by Stereophile reviewers:

Integrated Amp:
Creek Classic 5350SE
NAD C372
Rega Mira 3

Player:
Marantz SA8001
Cambridge Azur 740C
Music Hall cd25.2
Rega Apollo

Speakers(FS):
Revel Concerta F12
Monitor Audio Silver RS6
Spendor S5E

Any advice/past experience/cautions/etc. you could provide to narrow these choices further prior to auditioning, or knowledge of any combination(s) of units that might work well together, would be most appreciated. My music interests tend to lean toward rock, punk, funk, and jazz, so bass extension/presence and low distortion at high volumes are most important to me, versus depth/width of soundstage or other such criteria. It would also be important that the amp have enough WPC to drive the selected speakers to these levels without strain, overheating, etc. at any low speaker impedance levels. Sorry for my lack of techy vernacular, but I am just a newbie desiring better sound than I currently have. Many thanks to all responders.

bifcake
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Re: Please Cast Your Votes!

If you like rock and bass, then these would be my suggestions:

Integrated:
Creek 5350SE. It's a very tough choice between Creek and Rega Mira, but whereas Mira is sweet, musical and is a bit more refined, Creek has better bass, more slam and has a better grip on the speakers.

CD:
Rega Apollo. Nothing touches it for the money. Nothing even close.

Speakers:

I haven't heard Spendors, so I can't comment on them. Whereas I really like Monitor speakers, one thing they don't have is bass. They're detailed, refined, neutral, but they're thin and have very little weight. Hence, my recommendation would be the Revels.

Hope this helps.

jwilliam
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Re: Please Cast Your Votes!

Alex -
Thank you very much for your insightful feedback. I am having problems finding dealers in the Austin area that carry the above gear I am considering for purchase. That is why the input from the knowledgeable audiophiles here is so helpful/needed. Thanks again. JW

bifcake
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Re: Please Cast Your Votes!

Hi Johnny,

Please note that there is no substitution to listening to a demo with your own ears. Each and everyone of us has a different idea of what hi-fi should sound like and the aspects we find important. Some people are very concerned with imaging, others with driver integration and coherence, others with bass, others with warmth, etc. It's not that we don't want all of these aspects in our systems, but we give more or less weight to different things. Hence, take these recommendations as a starting point, rather than something that's written in stone.

Hope this helps,

Alexander

jwilliam
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Re: Please Cast Your Votes!

Thanks a bunch, Alexander. Your input is very helpful, and your recommendations are quite informative. The only problem with the auditioning of the prospective gear, and the main reason why I am asking all the questions and help putting a system together, is that Austin dealers do not carry most of the equipment I am choosing from. My only other option is a 3 to 4 hour drive (each way) to either Houston or Dallas. So I either winnow out the chaff through this route, or make a road trip. I wish there was an easier way to get one's hands on equipment. Thanks again for all of your help and input. Johnny

Monty
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Re: Please Cast Your Votes!

Hey Johnny. I also live in Austin.

Sound Mind Audio carries the Cambridge line as well as NAD.
Audio Systems carries Rega and NAD.
Mesa Home Systems carries Marantz.

Audio By Design handles the Music Hall brand.

I don't know who might be carrying the speakers, but Ne Plus Ultra would be worth a call.

jwilliam
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Re: Please Cast Your Votes!

Hello, Monty -

Small world/Web, eh? I never thought about posters here living in Austin. Thanks a bunch for the local information. Right now I am leaning toward the Creek, Rega, and Revel combo, but that is mostly based on reading reviews. Time to audition some equipment! If you ever want to get a beer and talk gear, let me know. You can reach me at jwilliam59@hotmail.com . Thanks again. JW

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