Beginner system(again)!

Hi, I’m an expat Scot who left his 1985-2000 system behind when I emigrated and only recently decided to get another setup.  I kinda fell for the whole iTunes thing and copied my 550+ CD collection to iTunes and got by with my iPodClassic and a Sony docking/subwoofer setup.

The problem was the 50 or so LP’s I brought with me after giving a bunch of them away to friends when I left Edinburgh.  Lately I started dreaming about having a proper stereo i.e Hi-Fi separates again...  I should emphasize we’re talking affordable kit here so those of you who live in th higher end stratosphere might not want to know...

Ok, so in Scotland my system ended up as an Ariston Q deck, a Marantz CD-50SE cdp feeding an old Onkyo A-33 amp and Celestion 5 speakers which served me well and sounded fine imho.

Fast forward 18 years and the Fluance RT81 turntable kept coming up on my Facebook feed and I really liked its retro looks. I read/watched all the reviews I could find and was kind of impressed when Michael Fremer called it a bargain on Analog Planet.  I tried shopping the local hi-fi stores but none of them carried it and wanted me to spend far more money than I had available...

I bought the Fluance from Amazon plus a Yamaha RS-202 receiver and JBL Arena B15 speakers. eBay provided my “make do” Rotel RDV1040 cd source and a 1990 Nackamichi Cassette Deck II basically because I’ve always lusted after a Naka tape deck and it was $50.

I’m impressed with the Fluance, it looks great and sounds better than my old Q deck iirc.  The built in TI pre-amp Isn’t even close to line level however I ended up getting a NAD PPOne pre-amp which helps a great deal. The JBL’s also perform commendably for such low cost speakers.   My real issue is the Yamaha receiver. It’s rated at 100wpc but doesn’t produce anything like that. I have to crank it over half way to hear vinyl and it’s not much better with CD’s.  My old Onkyo was rated at 50w and was crazy loud at much more than quarter volume.

I’ve since read quite a few pieces recommending a vintage integrated amp or receiver rather than a new one. The only problem is all the units they suggest are $500+ used.  Can anyone suggest a good vintage unit which is a bit more affordable?  I’d like a Kenwood kc2/Basic M1 combo but those are getting pricey too.  Thank you for reading this far. Any suggestions would be gratefully recieved.


There's a real nice Yamaha A - 1000 integrated amp (with 2 phono inputs) available now on the Bay for $285 + 30 for shipping! Silver finish and 100 watts/channel. Top of the line 1982 - 85!
If that's too expensive then there's a Yamaha M-40 power amp (with front panel level controls) for $175 - and FREE shipping! Hard to beat this one!
Ed ...

And if $175 is too expensive, try a Sherwood 7100 or a 7100A. The 7100 is more tube like. Both are amazing for the money. Should be less than 100 bucks. I got mine at a thrift store for 20 bucks. Its part of a bedroom system. Good headphone amp too.

Hi, thank you for the responses. Some good suggestions there. I found a vintage NAD pre/power combo on faceBook marketplace for $225 and I’ll grab that if it’s still there next week.