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Jebfour
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Please help me design my $1,500 system....

Well, it's time for me to put together a decent hi-fi system. Target goal is $1,500. This will not be hooked to a TV or be used in any way other than for a stand-alone audio system.

The “must haves” are:

-Play vinyl
-Play CD's
-Be able to hook a computer directly to it (non-wireless is fine) to play digital, as well as stream music.
-Not a real need for AM/FM since it can pretty much be streamed these days...

My musical tastes run a full range from acoustic guitar to county to full blown hard rock/metal.

Here is what I'm currently looking at. Please keep in mind that I'm new at this and am still learning in the process!

Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon ($399)
CD Player: JVC XL-M401 ($0 - I've had it forever and it still works well)
DAC: Schiit Bifrost ($349)
Speakers: Polk Audio Tsi500 ($399)
Amp: NAD C 316BEE ($379) - Perhaps something more powerful?

Any and all ideas/suggestions and advice is greatly appreciated (please go easy on me....I'm new at this!

Jebfour
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For some reason tonight I

For some reason tonight I just noticed that is the price for 1 speaker and they look to be discontinued. Not sure why I didn't see that before. With that being said....open to suggestions.

commsysman
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Choices

I suggest that you go for the Harman-Kardon 3490 receiver. It has more power and very good sound quality and will match up better with a wider variety of speakers. It also has subwoofer outputs, a built-in phono preamp (one IS required), a good quality DAC built-in, and  a wide variety of functions the NAD does not have. You should be able to get it for $350, with no added cost for a DAC or phono stage. It has it all in one unit.

I suggest that you consider the Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 or 10.4 speakers; they are excellent speakers for their price.

In terms of sound quality, your CD player is about 4 generations of DAC chips out of date; you really don't want to use that antique as your sound source. The resolution of its DAC chips is a joke by current standards, as is the sound quality. Garbage in, garbage out. The Marantz CD5004 is $349, and is an outstanding value. Its sound quality will be 500% better than what you have.

With the NAD amplifier you would have to spend $200 or so for a separate phono preamp and ??? for a DAC, and the total cost would be around $800.

Spend $350 for the 3490, $350 for the 5004, and $500 for the 10.2 speakers. That is my advice.

Jebfour
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Advice well taken. These are

Advice well taken. These are many things that I had not taken into consideration!

Most appreciated.

pablolie
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Great suggestions. The

Great suggestions. The speakers will be the single most important investment you will make. Pick wisely. Wharfedale diamonds are great in the sub 500 range (and murder many a 2k speaker). Also look for used PSB imagine.

Bill B
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Cd

If your CD player has a digital output, then run it through the Bifrost and you will have excellent sound, no new CD player needed

Jebfour
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So.... This past weekend, I

So....

This past weekend, I actually picked up a Harman Kardon HK3490, and while I was there I noticed that they were putting together an "audio only" room. I listened to speaker after speaker...many for extended periods of time. I ended up walking out with a pair of Klipsch RF 52 II Floorstanding speakers after I was offered $100 off the pair. I hooked everything up (using my existing CD player) and was absolutely shocked/floored by the quality of the sound in the small room where I have everything. I'm not sure if the speakers that I picked up are considered as good as the Wharfedales, but they sure sounded good to me and with the $$ off they fit my budget. 

The Pro-ject turntable should be here soon. I'm going to hold off on the stand alone DAC for the time being (I've done enough damage to the credit card) however, reviews of that cd5004 sure do look favorable....

Thanks to all for the suggestions!

Jebfour
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Thanks for the idea!
Bill B wrote:

If your CD player has a digital output, then run it through the Bifrost and you will have excellent sound, no new CD player needed

Thank you for this comment! This evening I discussed this with a friend who knows far more on the subject than I do.  Even though I'm not going with a stand alone DAC yet, I ran the digital out directly into the HK3490 and it may be in my head, but there certainly seems to be a difference....!

lpgtvdsd
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The speakers will be the

The speakers will be the single most important investment you will make. Pick wisely.Yes it is. So good.

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