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Monkeyfish
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Thoughts on a new setup

I'm brand new to this, but after a little research have some thoughts on putting together a hi-fi system with a budget of around $2,000. At the least I need a turntable and a way to handle movies/video games as well; my wife would prefer surround sound but I can't even begin to figure that out yet, and the compromises across the board seem daunting. In truth I'd rather go for strictly a music setup, but it's not in the cards. So, for a basic setup to handle vinyl, digital music, and A/V I am thinking of the below; all opinions an thoughts are appreciated.

Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon
Phono pre-amp: Bellari VP130
Amplifier: NAD C326BEE
Speakers: Wharfedale Diamond 10.4

Many thanks in advance for any advice.

Monkeyfish
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A second thought

I realize I meant to include as an alternative amplifier the Jolida JD301RC.

 

Again, thanks for your input.

absolutepitch
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Audio vs. Video, or both?

Your 'problem' is one that plagues music listeners that want to get into video as well. Of course there are many audio-video receivers (AVRs) on the market. My experience tells me that there are few AVRs that have enough watts/channel to drive a good audiophile loudspeaker to a satisfying level.

Hooking up an AVR is a bit confusing when you are talking about getting a TV signal to the screen too. I don't have an AVR. But I've seen some people have to run cables from the AVR to the TV for the Blu-Ray/DVD/CD video source material. Then there is the return cable from the TV to the DVR when watching TV signal so that the sound can be output via the surround sound system when the TV tunes each channel. Or, you can forego the TV audio and live with only the tiny TV speakers producing the sound. But you (and I) will miss the surround sound from TV broadcast movies and sports, and the sound on shows through a good audio system.

In my case, I have a separate two-channel system to reproduce the TV sound only. For the video, I use two separate 2-channel amps, one for the front speakers and one for the rear speakers. I level-match all channels, including the two self-powered subwoofers (2 is definitely better than 1) with a sound level meter and note the volume settings on the gear, the levels rarely needing adjustment for a movie.

I'm not an expert on surround and video for sure, so I'd love to hear from others about this, and of course from Kal of Stereophile.

garciaalfredo
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A/V Receiver or Amplifier?

I have the same kind of "problem" and I was going to ask in this forum about it. In my case, I went from a sound system 5.1 to a 2.1

I started a couple of month ago (thanks to this website and to Stephen Mejias) building my "low budget" hi-fi system. I had a Yamaha 5.1 sound system with the A/V receiver Yamaha RX-V367. The first thing I added was the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon. After 2 month I got rid of the Yamaha Speakers (keeping the sub-woofer) and I bought a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 with some "cheap" Audioquest Cables.

My system right now:
Yamaha RX-V367 A/V Receiver
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon
Bellari VP-130 - Sovtek12AX7LPS Tube
Wharfedale Diamond 10.1

The "problem" is that I also use the system to watch TV and Movies. I don't miss the sounround but I like the convenience of the A/V receiver to switch between sources. Why? Because in addition to the turntable I have:
Satellite Provider - HDMI
Apple TV (movies and audio streaming from iPhone, iPad, Computer) - HDMI or Digital Input
Playstation (Gaming and CD Player) - HDMI or Digital Input

There are two things that I want to upgrade down the road. The sub and the A/V Receiver. I think I should upgrade the A/V Receiver first but I have no idea what to get (entry level/low budget). I can't find an amplifier with the inputs that I need. On the other hand, I don't know if an A/V Receiver is good enough for a music setup. Having a A/V Receiver give me the oportunity to go for a soundround system if a wanted to in the future.

I have to say that, as a music lover,  I'm enjoing music as never before. I so happy and I can't wait to continue improving my hi-fi experience.

So, should I keep my Yamaha RX-V367? Is there, somewhere, a better "entry level" A/V Receiver that could deliver better music experience? Should I change to a regular amplifier? Is there an amplifiar that meets my requariments in term of inputs? any Brands/Models?

Thanks!!!!

commsysman
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System
Monkeyfish wrote:

I'm brand new to this, but after a little research have some thoughts on putting together a hi-fi system with a budget of around $2,000. At the least I need a turntable and a way to handle movies/video games as well; my wife would prefer surround sound but I can't even begin to figure that out yet, and the compromises across the board seem daunting. In truth I'd rather go for strictly a music setup, but it's not in the cards. So, for a basic setup to handle vinyl, digital music, and A/V I am thinking of the below; all opinions an thoughts are appreciated. Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Phono pre-amp: Bellari VP130 Amplifier: NAD C326BEE Speakers: Wharfedale Diamond 10.4 Many thanks in advance for any advice.

I would probably recommend that exact system at that budget level; those are excellent choices IMO. One change I might make is to substitute the Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp for the Bellari. It runs $200 and is very very good.

Monkeyfish
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Commsysman, thanks for the

Commsysman, thanks for the comments.  I have a couple follow-ups if you don't mind.  First, why do you prefer the Musical Fidelity over the Bellari?  They both seem to get good reviews, so I'm just trying to figure out the differences in performance that people prefer or dislike.

Second, although I am drawn to the NAD amp, I think I really need something with more A/V capabilities.  Any thoughts on the Sony STR-DN840 or the Marantz NR 1504? My only concern with the Marantz is it seems to be a little low-powered.

Finally, any thoughts on Polk RT1 A5 speakers?

Thanks again.

commsysman
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FOLLOW-UP

repeat

commsysman
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FOLLOW-UP

I like the Musical Fidelity V-LPS because its sound quality is excellent; I think it is the best I have heard for under $500; a bargain at $200 IMO.

If you want more A/V capabilities, the thing to get would be the Cambridge Audio 551R receiver. It goes for $1200 and has excellent sound quality. The sound quality is not quite as good as the Musical Fidelity M3i, but it is way way way better than any other AVR you can buy for under $3000. Anything from Sony or Marantz or Pioneer is not even remotely in the same class. Cambridge stands alone in AVRs for best sound quality IMO.

In general, I find Polk speakers to be a poor choice in their price ranges. I had a pair of Polk RTA12 Studio Monitor speakers many years ago, and they were fairly good, but they would cost several thousand dollars now if they still made them. I would suggest PSB, Wharfedale, and KEF for the best speaker choices under $2000.

The PSB Image T6 is a speaker I used for two years, and for its price it is simply the best you can buy. The reviews in Stereophile and The Absolute Sound back me up 100% on this, and both magazines repeatedly praise them as best in their class.

I personally have the Vandersteen Treo speakers now, and they are sublime, but they cost $6000 per pair.

commsysman
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FOLLOW-UP

repeat (this website is repeating my posts...lol)

Nellomilanese
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Wharfedale 10.4

As a long time owner of the diamons 10.4 I thought I throw in some personal experience with these.

they're goin' for 300-400 € now so I really don't think there are better speakers at this price.

They're amazing with female voices, acoustic guitars...very natural highs, quite detailed and not tiring at all.

With the right set-up they can dissapear...sound comes from the center, and with some good recordings there's even a bit of depth in soundstage...like you can hear the drummer is at the back of the recording room slightly to the left.

Bass goes pretty down but don't expect detailed, dry bass, it does smudge the more complex lines. Blocking the ports at the back and keeping them away from the back wall (2-3 feet) helps A LOT. I use a B&W sub crossed at 50hz and it helps...it blends right in.

These speakers like slow-paced music (vocal,blues,jazz etc)....forget techno, electronic and stuff...it's like they can't keep up...although that might have something to do with my amp also.

lpgtvdsd
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There are two things that I

There are two things that I want to upgrade down the road. The sub and the A/V Receiver. I think I should upgrade the A/V Receiver first but I have no idea what to get (entry level/low budget). I can't find an amplifier with the inputs that I need. On the other hand, I don't know if an A/V Receiver is good enough for a music setup. Having a A/V Receiver give me the oportunity to go for a soundround system if a wanted to in the future.

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