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devanmc
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Youth looking for some guidance

So ive always been some what of a music nut and i finally have abit of cash to upgrade my equipment to something more enthusist worthy. I have decided on my first record player being the REGA RP1. Next I need a new amplifier setup. I have no idea what im looking at though. It all makes no sense to me unless its an integrated set up. Can somone point me in the direction of a tutorial that explains it please?

 

Id like to spend no more the 1k total for my record player and amp. Which means i have about 600 to play with right now. Im a 22 yr/old college "kid", so i cant afford any of these 10k systems.

jackfish
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You will need an integrated amplifier with a phono input

unless you are willing to use a separate phono preamplifier.

Quick and dirty - to play a turntable one would need a phono stage which increases the weak signal from the turntable to line level and applies RIAA equalization to boost the bass, a preamplifer which takes the line level signals from the phono stage and other sources and sends them to the power amplifier while controlling the volume and sometimes frequency response (tone controls or EQ), and the power amplifier applies gain to the signal from the preamplifier and outputs to the speakers. This basic setup can come in different configurations.

Intergrated amplifier - preamp and power amp in one box, some units also have a phono stage

Preamplifer and power amplifer - preamp and power amp are separate, some preamps have a phono stage

Receiver - preamp, radio tuner and power amp in one box, some receivers have a phono stage, some receivers are intended for multichannel home theater applications and employ additional audio and video processing

If any of the above configurations do not have a phono input a separate phono preamplifier will be necessary.

I'm sure someone else can expound on this or knows of a link to an explanation.

All that said you should be able to find a very competent solution within your budget of $600. What kind of loudspeakers are you considering?

devanmc
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Im not interested in a

Im not interested in a receiver, i never really listen to the radio.

Im aware of the Phono stage and it will ofcourse be taken into consideration. 

My intent is to have a sound system solely for stereo sound. No video or surrond.

My problem is D/A converters, pre-amps, power amps and all that stuff. It doesnt make much sense when i look at them.

I could easily grap a stereo integrated and be done, but i need to learn about the other side before i spend over 600bucks on a this equipment.

 

thanks for the quick and dirty explination.

jackfish
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Some resources...
SKZA
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My advice is to think about

My advice is to think about how you like to listen to music and go from there. You'll obviously be listening to vinyl (the RP1 is terrific, by the way), so like jackfish mentioned, a phono preamp is essential. Whether you get a separate unit or buy an amp with a phono input is up to you, but I personally prefer the sound of my $100 Musical Fidelity V-LPS to the couple built-in inputs I've heard.

If you have much digital music that's where you might want to consider a D/A converter to get the best sound possible. For me, though, I care much less about the quality of my digital files since I use digital mostly for parties, so I just use an RCA-to-1/8" cable and play out of my computer's headphone jack. It's serviceable and if people are talking over it anyway it doesn't make much difference. 

My strong advice would be to go for an integrated rather than a preamp and poweramp for simple convenience. As a 22yo just coming out of school I'm guessing mobility and space are going to be issues, and having 1 unit instead of 2 or 3 can make a big difference. There are some terrific budget integrated options discussed ad nauseum on this forum (NAD, Marantz and Cambridge Audio have some popular models in your price range). Going with an integrated will save valuable space, be relatively easy to move around and still offer top-notch sound. 

And my final piece of advice, which is more a personal recommendation, is to go simple on the integrated and add separates (D/A converter, phono, etc.) as needed. Features cost money, so as a general rule of thumb a $600 integrated loaded with "stuff" will sound inferior to a $600 integrated that does one thing very well. Naturally there will be some exceptions to this rule, but I think it applies in many cases. This way you can also spend your money selectively on the components that you will use more frequently or that will make more of a difference in the ways you use your system. 

devanmc
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thanks ill add a D/A

thanks ill add a D/A converter to my list of things i need and up my budget/get it down the road. I have currently ~350CDs. so i think i have a few for my age.

devanmc
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seem to have found

seem to have found these

Marantz PM6004

NAD C326BEE

 

both really the same price and both have a phono input(which i wotn use later down the line. Are these basically the same given the price range? Obviously power output is different but im talking abotu their quality and sound.

 

found a used Cambridge Audio Azur 650a im bidding on through ebay. seems to be a good choice. It also lacks the phono input which is a plus given the advice.

SKZA
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I don't have any personal

I don't have any personal experience with any of those units, but the NAD and Marantz made my shortlist when I was putting my first system together. I would suggest you listen to them if you can, otherwise read some reviews, do some research and see which one sounds best to you. I don't think you could go wrong with either of those integrateds for an entry level sytem. 

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