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benjaminahudson's picture
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Feb 13 2012 - 11:01am
Need some advice on first-time hifi purchases

Greetings!  Long time reader/lurker, first time poster.  I am finally ready to commit some time and money to the hifi audio world and I am trying to get the best value for my dollar.  I primarily find myself listening to music throughout the week with the occasional movie watched during that time.  On the weekends its probably a 50/50 split as to what I do with my audio-listening and video-watching leisure time.  With that being said, I am trying to decide on the best approach for addressing both my desire for higher-end audio experiences as well as my desire to have a servicable surround sound setup for tv/movie viewing. 

Now, my heart tells me to address the 2-channel desire first and worry about the surround sound rig second based on sound quality and the fact I do more music listening than movie watching.  However, I would like as few components as possible and wouldn't be opposed to listening to my music through a a/v reciever in "stereo" mode if I could find an a/v reciever that would perform this task on par with some of the entry-level integrated amps.  Ultimately what I am getting at is can I run one reciever/amp to cover both of those needs?  Short of going integrated amp + cd player + turntable + 2 speakers for the stereo and a/v receiver + 5.1 speakers + TV for the other, is there a better way of skinning this proverbial cat??  If someone out there has a no-brainer solution I am happy to hear it, but I suspect the answer I will get is "you CAN do all of this through an a/v reciever, but you are going to lose sound quality to a degree that you may not like". 

As far as budgets go I was willing to commit to around $1500 for the 2-channel rig and probably around $500 for HTIB for the surround sound needs if I had to get seperates.  If I can lump a lot of this together, that may change those numbers for each.


dbster's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: Apr 22 2011 - 6:54pm
Need some advice on first-time hifi purchases

I have had good luck with Emotiva. I have their USP-1 pre-amp and XPA-2 stereo amp. For 2 channels to start and then grow to 5 perhaps the XPA-5. I am a mostly classic stereo person - turntable to pre-amp to amp to two speakers, so can't add much on the A/V side.

I also think NAD and PSB are worthy manufacturers for reasonably priced, good performing equipment. They are both now owned by the same parent company. In fact I am currently driving PSB Stratus Gold I speakers with the XPA-2.

If you have the knowledge, Craig's List can also be surprisingly useful.

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