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Rotman
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Joined: May 20 2007 - 7:11am
Setting up within a budget.

Hi There,

I'm trying to put together a decent set-up for a limited budget (+-$1K). I live in an apartment and basically want a turntable and then to hook up my Mac computer in lieau of a CD player. I will also be using an ipod. I've been looking at the following through various avenues- pals, ebay etc.

Turntable (new)- Pro-ject Debut 111 (I like the colour...), Rega P1, Music Hall MM2.1

Amp (used)- Arcam A75, Macintosh MA 6100, Pioneer SA 9500 II

Speakers (used)- Linn Keilidh, B&W DM 602

These are just some of the things I'm looking at. I may not be able to listen to them (Yes, yes, I know....), but figure that if I can get things for good money it should be worth the risk. And from some research of reviews etc I figure these items point in the right direction.

At home in NZ, I had a very old TEAC (I think) amp and some Boston Acoustic A 70 speakers- not the most hi-tech, but I absolutely loved the thick, warm sound and the way it would roll out over wooden floors like warm milk.

1. I'd like to get a similair sort of vibe, but with more precision, from the system I set up; any comments?
2. Any suggestions about buying new over used? A pal has suggested I should always get new speakers- any suggestions of lower price speakers?
3. Basically, I am doing my research online, I will try and get out and try some different brand gear in store to see if I like the sound, but I may not have the chance....
4. And I'd love some advice about wiring- bi-wire, etc.

I would love to get some sage wisdom, bearing in mind that I may be hard pressed to actually get out and do some auditioning. I figure things are not so risky- with a bit of research I should be able to get something sounding pretty good- in this budget. I intend, in due course, to put my time, ears and decent cash towards Valve gears... but I gotta walk before I can run (or so my bank manager says).

Incidentally I live in Manhattan. My tastes vary from Dub, electro, rock and all in between. Will be delving into more classical in due course, not so much jazz.

Cheers!

smejias
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Joined: Aug 25 2005 - 10:29am
Re: Setting up within a budget.

Hello Cloverick. Welcome to the forum, thanks for joining us.

This subject of a $1000 system has been very popular. There are a couple of similar threads here and here which might help you out a bit.

The Rega P1 was recently reviewed by Art Dudley. A good choice, I think. And our analog guru, Michael Fremer, is a big fan of the Debut III; he reviewed it in our July 2006 issue.

As for speakers, I'd add the really excellent $279/pair PSB Alpha B1 to your list. They might help with that warm sound you're looking for, and they sound pretty darn great with all sorts of music.

jackfish
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Re: Setting up within a budget.

The Rega P1 is a great turntable and there are a couple of things you should consider if you get one new:
1. If you buy from LPGear you get a tracking force gauge (a necessity with the Rega P1) and a better platter mat.
2. Buy an Ortofon OM20 stylus for $100 for dramtically improved sound.

There is a NAD C325BEE with a Tara Labs Missing Link upgrade on AudiogoN for $340. There is also a pair of B&W DM601 S2 on AudiogoN for $325 or NHT SB-3s for $275.

The possibilities are hopeless, as is your quest sans auditions. Good Luck!

Rotman
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Joined: May 20 2007 - 7:11am
Re: Setting up within a budget.

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for the prompt response.
Those speakers look pretty good... What do you think of the T1s, is it safe to assume they are as good....do you know where I can get them in Manhattan?
As for Amp... what d'y reckon about the Arcam A75? Or should I go for the Mcintosh to get a nice big beating heart (if without remote)..... Or is it a little dubious to be dealing with older gear like this.
I may be flexible on price... a little.

Rotman
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Re: Setting up within a budget.

Sorry to be a pain..... have been looking at stuff for too long and want to make some bids on stuff finishing soon...
any comments on Jolida SJ502A? Would it run the PSB T1s (I think I might have found some cheap)?

smejias
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Joined: Aug 25 2005 - 10:29am
Re: Setting up within a budget.


Quote:
Those speakers look pretty good... What do you think of the T1s, is it safe to assume they are as good....do you know where I can get them in Manhattan?

Well, I haven't heard the T1s. I don't like the idea of buying anything without listening to it first. The PSB site has a dealer locator feature. You can enter your zip code, and it'll give you a list of dealers.


Quote:
As for Amp... what d'y reckon about the Arcam A75? Or should I go for the Mcintosh to get a nice big beating heart

I haven't heard either of these, but I imagine they sound wildly different. I don't know.


Quote:
Or is it a little dubious to be dealing with older gear like this.

Eh, it depends on how the previous owner treated it, I guess. (It's more dubious to buy gear without listening to it first.) You might also have some trouble finding parts for repair in the event that anything does go wrong. Again, however, I'm not sure. Sorry I can't offer more help.

stereophillips
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Re: Setting up within a budget.

Stephen says, " You might also have some trouble finding parts for repair in the event that anything does go wrong." This is truer with some brands than others -- Mac is the classic company that keeps parts for decades (if not forever) to make sure that customers are taken care of.

Rotman
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Re: Setting up within a budget.

Hi there,
Feeling as I did like a 20 year old being taught the alphabet, I got out and about today and listened to a few things.

I went to J and R and listened to:
Klipsch RB81- V clear, too crisp and a little abrasive.
RF62- more my cup, good and rolling, perhaps still too 'clear'.
RF82- liked the 62 better, these were a little too crisp.

Stereo Exchange:
B&W 602s3- okay, more me than Klipsch
603s3- floorstanding, better, but boomy
CM7- like night and day, much more my cup, although too pricey at $1800
Totem Acoustic mites- I really really liked these, nice warm and dimentional sound, did alright without sub too.

Listened to B&W through Rotel amp and Totem through a Cayin Valve amp.

Then went to In Living sound:
through Rega Mira 3 amp with R1 turntable:
Rega R5- really dug sound, but again, too pricey.
Totem Mites sounded pretty good to me...

At Harvey Music:
Martin Logan Montage and Boston Acoustic VR3; Martin Logan's really really nice, although maybe too effete for Rock, BA's a bit abrasive, but really roomy and organic.

So, in summation; I was most impressed by the Totem Mites, Rega 5 and BA VR3.

Given the flavour of my empirically tested speaker likes; do you have any suggestions more in my price range?

Thanks so much for your input nonetheless. I tend to go a little stir crazy just looking online....

R,
J.

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