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octaneTom's picture
Last seen: 6 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: Apr 5 2011 - 1:10pm
Another newbie looking for advice

Decided it's time to upgrade my stereo system. The system I have now was the first thing I bought when I moved out on my own 20 years ago - a Yamaha RX 385 receiver, Boston Acoustic HD9s and an Onkyo 1400 turntable.

I'm living in a condo/loft. The listening area is sort of set up like this - couch is about 13 feet from the wall where the system is set up. The "room" is 35 feet deep by about 25 feet wide, but the back half of that 35 feet gets cut into a width of 17 feet about 6 feet past the couch. Ceilings are 12 feet high and concrete. Living in the condo I have shared (but decently soundproofed) walls, so I don't want to make my neighbors completely hate me - I rarely get above 1 o'clock on the current system's volume.

The Onkyo has been replaced with a Rega RP1 that should be arriving later this week. The speakers are shot so they're definitely going. There's a PSB dealer here in town and I really like the sound of the Image series speakers at his place - I was looking at the B5/B6s and the T5s.

Questions I guess I have - I am leaning toward also upgrading the receiver to get a better sound and phono preamp - most of my listening is vinyl (lots of indie rock & jazz...some metal) I was thinking of checking out the Marantz PM5004 people on here seem to like - there's a dealer about 20 min away. Is that Marantz a significant improvement over my old Yamaha? What else in that rough range ($400-500) is a good alternative/upgrade? Is the Rega Brio a huge jump in quality? The place I picked up the RP1 also stocks those, but it's a bit more than I was initially thinking of spending.

And then, if I go with something in that range for an amp are the B5s on a pair of stands a good route? Do I need a better/bigger amp for T5s? Also, considering my listening needs, am I fine with the B5s in this room or is something more like the T5s a better bet?

Thanks for any advice in advance.

JIMV's picture
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: Jan 31 2008 - 1:46pm

Buy Magneplanar MMG's ($600)....FAR better than anything close to the price

jackfish's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 week ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
The MMG suggestion is a good one,

However, the Magnepan MMGs like adequate power and most $400-500 integrated amplifiers are going to come up short. If you stick with the PSBs they are more efficient and such integrated amps should work well.

Also look at the:
Cambridge Audio 350A
Music Hall A15.2

You also might be able to live with a Harman Kardon HK3490 stereo receiver. That would work well with the MMGs.

You could also find used with 4+ years transferable warranty remaining Emotiva USP-1 and UPA-2 for maybe $600.

The PSB Image B5 or B6 on good stands would be nice, but if you like realistic bass you might consider the T5 or a subwoofer. PSB SP-25i Speaker Stands can be found here for $80/pair:

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