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illumenum's picture
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Jan 4 2014 - 8:36am
Amps & speakers for ~$1k Pro-ject Carbon pairing

I'm buying Pro-ject Debut Carbon turntable ($400), and am searching for minimalist stereo setup to go along with it.  

I have more constraints galore:  a budget (~$1000), a wife (no big black 1980's looking components), and a baby (no loose wires / speaker stands).  Its for a large 25'x25' living room / kitchen seperated by a partial wall - but I'm not obsessed on loud - our 20W crap Sony CMT-EP313 is loud enough (and terrible sounding) at 3/4 volume.

At first I was thinking the AudioEngine A5+ powered speakers & with a modded Rolls VP29 ($50 - - a win for minimalist style.  

An Onkyo A-5VL with Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers wins pricewise; but struck me as a cold / clinical, vinyl-unfriendly combo.

I've considered pairing the A-5VL ($330) with warmer Wharfendale Diamond 10.1 ($350) or 10.2's ($450) speakers.

Alternatively, I could pair the Pioneers or their floor speaker SP-FS52 bretheren ($220) with Music Hall's A15.3 amp ($550 - better phono, no DAC).

Why do all the well reviewed speakers only 4"?  Will I miss a DAC?  Am I totally off target?
Any thoughts / opinions / alternatives would be appreciated!!

commsysman's picture
Last seen: 11 hours 11 min ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am

I think you are right ON target with the choice of the Music Hall amplifier! IMO it is the best-sounding you can get for under $1000.

The 4-inch and smaller mini-speakers are definitely too small.

I suggest the Cambridge Audio SX-50 speakers, which are $249 per pair at Audio Advisor. They have 5.5-inch drivers and are rated to go down to 50 hz, which will give you nice midbass response for mellow sounds.

They also have a much higher sensitivity than the Pioneer speakers, which makes them an easier job for the amplifier to drive. They come in a nice walnut finish (or all black).

That amp and those speakers should be a real sweet system for you.



Oh...another thing. One good solution for speaker positioning is to get a couple of wood shelf units around 12 inches square and 30-36 inches high. Put LPs in the shelves and the speakers on top. With a full shelf of LPs in the bottom they are very stable and are not going to be knocked over.


P.S.- you are right! Onkyo and Yamaha amps are the worst-sounding crap there is.

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