One of the things that I have always wanted to see done in Stereophile is a review of building an audio system within certain price constraints.
For reasons that I can only speculate on, Stereophile has resisted addressing this readership interest like the plague.
Since we have a diverse group of dedicated enthusiasts on these boards, I thought this might be interesting and fun to do. I hope you guys will contribute your experiences and recommendations and perhaps we can expand into different price points if this thread generates any interest.
As a starting point, I would suggest a system consisting of a digital playback front-end, amplification, speakers and cables.
I'll kick it off with my picks given the tight budget. I think staying within $200.00 either way would be fair given that retail prices vary and aren't carved in stone. I would like to stick to new equipment.
CD Player--Cambridge Audio D-500SE @ around $300.00
Amp--NAD C320BEE @ around $400.00
Speakers--psb Alpha B @ around $250.00
Interconnect--Kimber PBJ @ around $75.00
Cable--Audioquest Type 4 @ around $60.00
Total Cost: $1085.00
Considerations: I've not yet heard the Marantz 5400 CD player, but if it gets anywhere close to the CD67se that it supposedly grew from, I'd likely go with it over the Cambridge player and save another $75.00 putting me right on target for the budget.