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Tristan's picture
Last seen: 5 years 1 month ago
Joined: Oct 9 2012 - 10:50pm
Where to start the re-vamp? From actually low budget to stereophile 'budget' system

This is my first post. I'm really excited to have stumbled upon this community. I have been collecting vinyl since I was but a boy but am finally in a place where I can start investing in my system and you all seem like the right people to consult. I've been really impressed, though intermittently overwhelmed, by all the information on this site. Much of it is over my head but I'm a quick learner.

So here's my current system:

-Harman/Kardon AVR 635 (75 watts x 7 high-current amplification)
-Pair of Polk RTi4
-Audio Technica AT-LP60 (which I hate the sound of and works only
-[Non-functional] Technics SL-1900 (the level arm won't cue down, is this
worth trying to fix?)

This was what got me through college. Finally on the other side of that and am saving some money for a more distinguished and worthy system. After writing this list it would appear to me that the best thing to do would be to invest in a reliable turntable. I've been thinking Pro-Ject Debut III but leaning more towards MMF 2.2(LE) or the Rega RP1.

After that I'm lost. I think replacing the Polk RTi4s makes the most sense because the H/K has enough power to keep two higher end speakers going, yeah? What do you all think? Is there a part of this equation that I am completely neglecting. This will be an on-going project so I'd say that eventually I'd be willing to spend up to $2,500. Is a preamp a good idea?

One last thing, recently saw a REGA P1 WITH ORTOFON CARTRIDGE for $300 gently used. Appears to be in good shape. Worth hopping on?

Thanks very much to all of you who take the time to help me on this wondrous journey. I am very much looking forward to learning more and seeing what you all come up with. I would love links/advice on learning more about the basics of building a system. I studied science pretty heavily so I think I remember the basic physical nature of sound waves, speaker placement, etc. but that has yet to translate into too much when it comes to finding the right gear.


jackfish's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Welcome to the forum! Hope you can get what you need from it.

I'll start with the turntable. The two you currently have are underwhelming, with the Technics SL-1900 having the most potential. For possible fixes for it please check out the sizable and knowledgable user community over at the Vinyl Engine forum.

If the Technics is not salvagable, then I'd consider the Music Hall MMF-2.2, as the Rega RP-1 has quality issues and the Pro-Ject Debut III or Debut Carbon (and the Rega RP-1) do not have adjustable vertical tracking angle. The MMF-2.2 is more easily upgraded with a Pro-Ject Acryl-IT platter, Pro-Ject Speed Box II, and a wide variety of cartridges.

The Polk RTi4s are definitely replacable, although they might just be the best pieces you have. Are you sticking with bookshelf speakers or do you have room for floorstanders?

The Harman Kardon AVR 635 is compromised for a two-channel music system as it has superfluous video circuitry and impaired amplifier section. I'd look at replacing it as well.

$2,500? This would be a great start:

Music Hall MMF-2.2 LE in black $450

Emotiva USP-1 and XPA-200 $950 delivered

Magnepan MMG $600 floorstanders OR Ascend Acoustics CM-340 mains $608 bookshelves

All of it except the turntable you can listen to for a while in your own home, and if you don't want it, return it for a purchase price refund.

hcsunshine's picture
Last seen: 2 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 13 2011 - 4:06pm
i'm going to buy...

the music hall mmf 2.2 on the recommendation of many here

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