A Powder Dusting of Audio Interest
Your enthusiastic response has inspired Kristina to come out of blog-retirement. She could only stay away for an evening. Ladies and gentlemen, it seems she may be hooked. Any suggestions for an amp and CD player?
So I lied in my last blog entry. It wasn't my final goodbye after all, but the beginning to an interesting process of putting together a nearly-affordable audio system.
Now let's remember that I still need to buy several pizza pies a week, and my budget is limited. However, before I contemplate jumping off a bridge, as the cost of high-end audio equipment boggles my mind, I've decided that I may not in fact have my full system until I graduate next year. Not to fear, I tell myself. All of this may be working up to a graduation gift to me, from me. I may not know what state I'll live in, but what can you do? I will have the more important items beanbag chairs, a Foreman Grill, and an amazing audio system! I've clearly got my priorities all straightened out and Stereophile may have rubbed off on me a powder dusting of audio fanaticism.
Perhaps "fanaticism" is too strong a word. Let's go with "interest" instead: A powder dusting of audio interest.
So here's what I've found...
Stephen schooled me a bit in his office, explaining the other things I would need to actually power my speakers. I hadn't given it much thought because I think speakers are cute. I wanted those picked out first. No harm, no foul. So I did some research, putting to good use the spreadsheets I've been working on all summer, and came up with a few CD players and integrated amplifiers I think are absolutely glorious.
Not knowing a whole lot about CD players, except maybe how to use one, I fell in love with Tangent's CDP-100 because it's sleek and it's not black. (Typical me.) The Cambridge Audio Azur 340C CD player ($329) was another piece that caught my eye. I found a ton of CD players that were a little more or less expensive, but their bulkiness, in addition to their ordinary black color, killed it for me. In comparison, Tangent and Cambridge Audio were easy choices.
As for amps, I also liked the Tangent AMP-100 ($349) and the Cambridge Audio Azur 340A ($329) integrateds. I figure either of these two would do the trick. Although keeping the CD player and integrated amp within the same brand would probably look nice, like a matching tea set or wine glasses, I'm not particularly picky about sticking with the same brands just for continuity's sake. I'd mix and match my wardrobe of audio equipment like I would shoes and handbags.
Pieced together, my potential hi-fi system would consist of the following:
Tannoy's Mercury F2 speakers ($185/pair) or Monitor Audio Radius Speakers ($229) from my last blog. (Although I am researching Gallo's Nucleus Micro and the Usher Audio S-520 because they are both simply adorable.)
Tangent CDP-100 ($349) or Cambridge Audio Azur 340C CD player ($329)
Tangent AMP-100 integrated amp ($349) or the Cambridge Audio Azur 340A integrated amp ($329)
So all together, my little home audio system comes in at approximately $900. Not too shabby, if you ask me. Not needing an elaborate or expensive system, I like the idea of having sleek, sexy components that are eye-popping and subtle at the same time. I'm not going for the macho, "look-at-my-hemi-truck" type of attention. Just something classy, sophisticated, cultured, unique... Any or all of those descriptions. That's what I'm going for.