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FlyingBurrito
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Joined: Sep 7 2020 - 2:08pm
Advice on New System

Hi, I'm finally setting up a stereo system and would appreciate recommendations on what to buy. I am primarily looking to play records, but may eventually use it for TV audio as well. I listen to a lot of classic rock/folk (e.g., Grateful Dead, Dylan, Flying Burrito Brothers, etc.) and I want a warm, analog sound.

I already have a vintage Philips 212 turntable and an early 2000s Sony STR-DA4300ES receiver. I don't have any speakers. I'm willing to spend around $1,000-$1,500 now and perhaps upgrade some components in the future. Should I put the entire amount into speakers, or should I upgrade the turntable or receiver as well? Any speaker recommendations?

Old Audiophile
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Joined: Jun 15 2017 - 7:34pm
Late to the dance!

This may be too little too late but when I saw you had a Phillips 212 turntable I just had to respond. The 212 is a vintage deck. Refurbished ones are still highly sought after and command serious coin! Even used originals sell well to people who want them for spare parts. I bought one in 1972 and used it until I eventually replaced my Sansui 2000X receiver in 2001. The new receiver I purchased back then had a crappy phono section. So, unfortunately, the 212 took a back seat to the CD player for many years until I eventually replaced that receiver with a McIntosh integrated amplifier about 4 years ago. At that point, it was clear the good 'ol 212 was showing its age and I replaced it with something that would do my vinyl collection the justice it deserves.

I'm not familiar with your Sony receiver. However, if you are "primarily looking to play records", the quality of the phono stage in that amp and the shape your 212 and its cartridge are in will be major factors; not to mention the shape of your records, how clean they are, etc. My suggestion would be to borrow a pair of 8 ohm speakers to see how that goes before investing serious money in a pair of speakers, only to find out you might need to replace the 212 and/or the receiver, as well. The best advice anyone can give you on speaker selection is to do some critical listening with those in your budget range under circumstances that are as controlled as you can get them. In other words, you should audition speakers that are broken-in, with components that are as similar to yours, as possible, in sound rooms that are as similar in size and acoustic properties as yours and with music you are very familiar with. That will give you a good idea of what your ears like but keep in mind that speakers will sound different under your roof than they sound at the shop(s), especially new speakers that haven't been broken in. Ask about break-in time and make sure you will have enough time to bring them back for a full refund or replacement pair if you end up being disappointed with how they sound at your house. Any reputable stereo/audiophile shop will have, at least, a 30 day return policy. Keep in mind, also, that any quality speakers can be made to sound really good with components that are twice the price or more and of higher quality than what you have at home. This is why you should try to control the critical listening conditions at the shop(s) you visit, as much as possible.

Good Luck! Happy Hunting! And please let us know how you make out.

oldhififart
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Good advice above. I would

Good advice above. I would also add, if you are able to see if the HI-FI dealer will let you bring your equipment to the shop to be connected to the speakers you are buying.

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