Best system for ROMANCE

Hi'I am very new to this.My old boyfriend was an audiophile.I want to build my own system now.I want the most romantic sound possible. I listen to mostly classical and love to get it on during music.Any advice? I have about $4000.00 to spend and have to start from scratch.Thanks guys!!
Cindy, assuming you're buying new try the AH!Tjoebe CD player, Manley Stingray or Jadis Orchestra integrated amplifiers with Vandersteen 2Ce speakers and Cardas cross cables. Buy some of these used on Audiogon and you'll actually stay under $4000.00. These components will sound sound very romantic but alas, what's romance without love. Trust your ears and enjoy the journey. (tell your friends too!)
I like the recommended system by Khrys. The sound would be very sweet and melodic indeed. However, the 2CE's are the least romantic LOOKING speakers I have ever seen :( They are LARGE and rather ugly speakers, that need to be several feet away from the back wall to work properly, because they have that back firing passive radiator. So, if one wanted romantic evenings with music next to the fireplace or in a bedroom, I really don't think the Vandersteens would make very good companions, visually that is. Now, the Stingray or the Jadis, ooh la la. Absolutely gorgeous - looking and sounding. Certainly far too pretty to ever wish to mate with Vandys. How about some Proac speakers, maybe like the 1SC's. Get a pair in a nice wood finish. They're small, good looking, and the sweetest sounding little speakers I have ever heard. No earth shaking bass, but violins and vocals will melt your knees. The $4k budget would take a pretty serious dent with the $2k Proacs, but there are still plenty of tube integrateds and reasonbly priced cd players that could squeeze in. Also, if we assume integrated amp, then one pair of interconnects and speaker cable should be accounted for, maybe $2-400 or so. Of course, this is all assuming that CD is the source of choice. However, if you REALLY want romantic, you must do vinyl - there's no doubt about that. Vinyl, tubes, and a glass of wine. Now THAT's a prescription for romance.
I would suggest Manley Stingray integrated amp, Soliloquy 5.0 and Denon dcd-1650ar. All, less than 4K!
CJ,Proac,and SACD. Just bring the wine over and you can save yourself $3990.
Good suggestions up to now. Here is another one you might like: Start with an integrated amp, the Pathos Classic One($1950). Pathos are very well known for building some of the most romantic sounding amplifiers, and this one doesn't dissapoint.It's a tube/hybrid design that comes with a beautifull wooden remote, you can see it at this For speakers try the Arro from Totem. A beautifull little floorstander, probably one of the best speaker you can get for a thousand dollars (and a good match for the Pathos). Next, the cd player. With this one you're gonna go over budget, but it'll be absolutely worth it... Here's why: You say you like to get it on when you listen to music, well who likes to get up and change the cd when you're in the heat of passion? No one, period. So here is the solution -($1700)Anthem cd1... HDCD, tube output stage and six disc capacity! What more can you ask! With a beautifull system like this, you might not spend enough time looking in your lovers eyes and too much time looking(and listening) at your system!!!
Romantic, warm...sweet, Magnepan MG 1.6Qr, Classe CAP-100 integrated, Wireworld interconnects/speaker wire...and Classe .5 CD player...a lush combination...
Joekras,$10 for a bottle of wine? Sweet heart,I'm worth more than that! Can't anyone do better than Joe? So far the advice is great,you guys are GOOD!!
I've always been fond of the '82 and '88 Lafite Rothschild.. ....but lately the '84, '86 and '87 Montelena Estate Cabernet has been giving more pleasure. Although I must mention that the '92 Dala Valle is a future star....but then there's always vintage Champagne...esp. well stored '85's. Hope this helps.
Conrad Johnson CAV50 or Jolida 302B, Vandersteen 2Ce, Rotel 990 CDP, an old tube tuner, Tara Labs or XLO cable. Jazz from the mid 50's to mid to late 60's. Wine? All of the whites from Louis Jadot are great.
I like YBA's lower end stuff in the Audio Refinement brand name. It's very warm, CD palyer is about $800.00 and Intergrated amp is about $900.00. Leaving enough money for good speakers and cables.
Hi Cindy; A LOT of good suggestions above, but I agree with staying away from vinyl-- but only for the reasons stated. The system Trelja recommends would do it for me. I've owned Vandersteen 2Ces for years, and they are warm, forgiving, and inviting-- it's true that they do need room. Sorry, but I can't comment on the wine! Cheers. Craig.
Hey Cindy I suspect there are more beer drinkers among the lot of us judging by a thread titled "BEST BEER...MADE ANYWHERE". I certainly love wine but freely admit I'm no connoisseure. Khrys's system looks real good to me although I am not familiar with the CD player. I'll guarantee lush and romantic with his other choices however. Just make sure you.....STAY WITH TUBES! But really, I don't believe you'll need convincing once you listen. Have fun with your journey.
somehow a bedroom system seems appropriate so may I suggest a rega planet cd player as long as the repeat button on the player works I see no need for a changer, Joseph Audio RM7 signature in a beautiful rosewood veneer good 24-26in stands a jolida jd-502b for the romantic sound of tubes some mit cable and interconnect all items aside from the speakers are avail. used for a lot less than new but the rest in good wine good music possibly possibly a copy of jan klemmer TOUCH and go for it my lady
Hi guys,so far I like Trelja's system best.I want to make my final decision based on what you guys recommend.I am afraid to walk into a hi-end shop a be at the mercy of a dealer.I want to know what I want,buy it and get out.I don't want to buy used here on audiogon as I dont have the time and dont want to take chances.I have to go to N.Y.C. for this weekend through Tuesday and will visit some shops to see if they have anything recommended here and maybe take a quick listen.I plan on buying my system in a couple weeks on the west coast where I live.I dont want a bedroom system.I want to be able to get the best sound possible in my 30'X18'X10'high living room.The bedroom is not the ideal room.My passion for music and men will work best in my living room.I was born in 1969 to a rock star father and his girlfriend(mom)according to them they loved to get stoned,crank the tunes and get it on.I guess its in my blood.Only difference is I dig classical and wine, not rock and weed.Thanks guys for all your help! Any suggestions for a who wont give me a hard time if just want to look around?Thanks again,Cindy
Sound by Singer has just about everything on the list. He DOES by all accounts only sell retail, no discounts with him. So you may have to use your considerable charms to get a deal. I know he has most of Trelja recommendations except maybe the CD player and cables.
Cindy, thank you for the kind words! I too was born in 1969, on a Friday the 13th no less. Albeit, not to any rock stars. Please go with the Jolida 302B, as opposed to the 502B. I guarantee the sound of the EL34 tubes will be MUCH more romatic than ANY 6550. Also, I believe they are identical amps, excepting the tubes. So, why pay $200 for the 502B? Also, do not discount the idea of buying used. You could put together this system used easily for $2000 - $2500. Good Luck in whatever direction you go, and please keep us posted as to what you decide on.
Cindy, while you're in New York, try to listen to as many of the recommended components/speakers you can. Since you listen to classical music, and especially if you go to live performances, you may want to give the Magnepans a serious listen. The majesty and well as subtle emotion of live classical less so on any smaller box speakers...they just don't put up lifesize images. Your room is a factor, is a good sized area. Magnepan 1.6 and 3.6 are the most in-demand 2-channel products in the entire audio industry(while most two channel companies are either dying or selling out to "home theater")...4 to 6 month waiting lists, and people re-selling them for 90 to 95% of new list(look at the re-sale value on some of the other suggested products). I have owned the top two Vandersteens, Wilsons, Thiels...etc..all excellent...even Martin-Logans...all great hifi, the Magnepans are much different. For what is it worth most people with any model Magnepans are usually classical and jazz fans, the same cannot be said for most other speakers.. and amplified a much different different sound when created...and re-created. In the end result, take music you love,,,and buy what gives you the sound you love. But please make sure the salesperson(s) you talk to know about your room size.
First and foremost, I would focus upon finding a speaker that really does it for you and be prepared if necessary to budget the greater portion of your resources toward that aim. Since you are looking for suggestions, my clear recommendation is the Obelisk speaker by Shahinian Acoustics. It is a beautifully made little poly/omnidirectional speaker that I have found is truly excellent with classical music. Indeed, I have come across no other speaker so unobtrusive that can deliver on such a large scale. Here's what one reviewer writes: "They really come into their own with well recorded acoustical jazz and classical music--the penchant of their designer. Shahinian knows well and loves the sound of the concert hall and knows how to produce speakers that evoke the beauty, bloom, and emotional sweep of live music." Another of the real pluses about the Obelisk is that unlike typical/conventional speaker designs, you can position yourself BETWEEN them and even BEHIND them, and the resultant experience is merely a pleasing, but respectively different perspective on the same performance. Hence, instead of being limited strictly to a very limited "sweet spot," whereby you experience the concert from the audience's perspective, you can in addition, experience it from an on-stage/right in the middle of the orchestra perspective, and even from a backstage/behind the orchestra perspective! And guess what? Shahinian outfits his Obelisks with casters, not spikes---so let's say the mood should strike that you feel like fantasizing that you are "getting it on," as you say, center stage, surrounded by your favorite orchestra, in the midst of your favorite orchestral passage, you just simply and easily wheel those Obelisks out and place them so that you are right smack in between them (wherever that might happen to be), and VOILA! Please do check them out at Shahinian's website at: for a lot more info, and photos. For what it's worth---and I'm not talking about merely the getting it on scene, but wherever they've been placed, they're one of very few speakers I have known women to actually REMARK that they really like. I have had mine pretty much for the entire 21 years that I've been married (yes, they are still making the same speaker, but with internal upgrades that reflect the state of current technology) and though many speakers have since come and gone, my wife simply will not let me sell the Obelisks. They may go out of use now and then, replaced by something new, but to this day, every time they are put back into a system and my wife hears them once again, she inevitably says the same thing, "Now THAT'S the sound I like...why can't you find new speakers that sound like that?" So much for the issue of your speakers.------------- Now, I'll try to make the rest of my comments short. Speaking in general terms, my experience has been that women love the sound of tubes and abhor solid state. As such, I concur with Trelja with respect to the choice of a Jolida integrated tube amp. And doesn't the name, "Jolida" just sound like it's the right choice for this application? Given the price of the Obelisks, you may wish to go with their JD 202A model, at $750 list. Here's what one reviewer had to say about this unit, "For nary the cost of a bad weekend in Vegas (aren't they all?), the wonders of a honey-smooth tube toy can be yours." You can check out their website at: At their price points, I am sure you will find the Jolida products quite aesthetically pleasing as well.------------- Now on to your front end. Of course, vinyl IS the coolest, but I agree with one prior writer's observation and can't imagine that anyone would want to have to deal with the changing of LPs when they are in the midst of getting it on. My recommendation therefore (in consideration of course to your budget) is that you forego at this point, the notion of going for any of these high/mid-priced CD players. Such is clearly not necessary, particularly in these uncertain digital format times. Instead, you'll find you can pick yourself up a brand new Pioneer DVD player, like the 525 model, for a song---say around $200 on the web. Use this as your transport, coupled with MSB's Link DAC lll and for about $500, you will have yourself a digital front end that would have cost you ten times that, just a couple of years back. A CLEAR bonus you get with this combo is that you can play DVD audio disks---and though there is admittedly a very limited selection available right now, there are indeed a few really good ones out there and you will no doubt be amazed at how much additional pleasure this format has to offer over conventional CDs.------------------------------------------ This of course won't leave you with all that much left over from your $4000 budget for accessories, but thankfully, you WILL be able to afford the excellent value interconnects and speaker cables put out by Mapleshade and/or DH Labs----Finally, as for the choice of WINE and all of the to-be-expected come-ons, I'll be leaving the cute/erudite comments to the bon vivant/Rico Suave crew. Rather, I'd suggest what would be infinitely tres cool is if you would get someone you really like to take you to Napa or Paris and that you make it a point to bring home some of those wines you have particularly enjoyed along the way. Good luck!
Cindy, if you know high end audio well enough to discriminate among the systems suggested, you clearly are not "new at this". Somehow I don't think we have to worry about you're being at the mercy of a high end dealer on either coast. I wish you had posted your pedigree before I took you seriously.
Cindy, Faml24 makes a lot of good points. However, please go with the Jolida 302B, as opposed to the 202B. While I really am a big fan of the 202, it is very limited in its abilities. The 302 has MUCH larger transformers. Transformers are the most expensive/important part of a tube amp. And they determine power, bass response, ability to drive loudspeakers, and so much MORE. The 302B will be more future proof. You will be able to drive most speakers with it. With the 202, you are fairly limited. While I always tell people to replace the tubes and power cord, I am only suggesting you switch the power cord. The stock Chinese tubes are slow, heavy, syrupy, and most of all ROMANTIC. You will absolutely love them. Good Luck with everything.
Hi Cindy, You can try Sound by Singer, Stereo Exchange, Park Ave Audio, Lyric HiFi and Harveys' in that order.If you run into "ATTITUDE", don't forget that you are a serious customer interested in a high quality system and you are going to compare systems at a few good shops before making a decision. Pressure and impulse can get to even the most experienced buyer, so good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
If you're still in NYC and looking to audition, stop by Innovative Audio as well. They can be a little more pricy than the ones mentioned above, but I have found them to be the kindest, most accomodating, and knowledgable of the lot - and they've got some really fine equipment to boot. If you've got the time and the interest, they'll set you up, bring sodas, and swap out equipment for you all day long. They treated me right fine, and I'm just a youngster who showed up in jeans and a t-shirt. I've had mixed luck (and bought equipment) from almost all of the above--mostly luck of the draw regarding who gloms onto you when you walk in the door. I suspect you'll be fine, though...
Well; take it from an old pro: Go easy on the equipment expenditure. Invest in quality software (e.g., Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Brahms, Beethoven quartets. etc.) and wine. But most of all, rely upon your natural charm and ability to make your own beautiful music. PS: For a prelude to the above, it's hard to beat a fine meal.
yeah i have some advice: COME OVER TO MY HOUSE AND LISTEN!
You can always come over to my house,,,,and listen
Jokes aside, What did you end up with Cindy? I myself got the idea from this thread and for my bedroom system for Romance I am settling on Vandersteen 2ce,Cary 300 SEI and Cary 301or 303 CD player. Interconnects /speaker wires will be all MIT or Sraightwire Serenade.
Wouldn't it be a bummer if "Redcindy" was really a balding, overweight insurance salesman from Wichita hanging out on the net while his wife was asleep?
IT WOULD 704!!!. CINDY, Are you? PROVE IT. Send me your picture off the line.
Once you go BOSE you'll never go back. And remember, you can't get into it unless you get out of it.
As a classic lover too, I want to contribute some suggestion to Cindy. From now on, I assume your room is not surprisingly large. Previous suggestion from Trejla and Garfish are excellent. Another alternative is go used pre/power amp and main/subwoofer. If you live in big city area, should be easy to access some nice used components in local audio shops. My own experience for musical equippments are, 1) CD player: (<$600) Not very critical in your price range. But if you can find used rega planar or CAL Lab, SONY ES, they are fine enough. Some suggested Ah!Tjoebe, good. You do need reasonable good interconnect from CD player to Pre-Amp. (suggest used Tara Lab, JPS... for smooth hi) DVD + MSB DAC is good option too. (only inexpensive one) If you want turntable, a used rega planar if fine. 2) Integrated to Pre/Power Amp (<$1500) Trelja already suggested good Integrated. You might find used Plinius integrated (but very hot). Or find old Conrad Johnson, Audio Research, McIntoshi separeates, even those are >10 years old (so price in). Prefer tube Pre and Solid State Amp (tube too expensive for your now). Those Jurassic things are built to last and "musical". To me, those are gears for classical music or jazz. If above power amp are still too expensive, go ROTEL or ADCOM for more power, but your pre-amp stays at higher end. 3) Speakers (total <$2000) Vabdersteen 2ce or 3A used Main + subwoofer Main: (used) used small ProAC (studio, tablet...) used Celestion (SL-series or 100/300) used Sonus fabers (used monitor) Own Celestion SL600, this one you need >120 W Amp for 82dB but "musical". Subwoofer: not so expensive used Velydine? (HGS-series) Hsu Research (need to match crossover freq) I like audioquest midnight serious or up, find some used one please. For classical music, silver cables tend to give good sound stage, but copper ones are smooth and forgiving for old records. All my suggestion should not give your a too bright system. For a beginner, you don't want to spend lots of time on room treatment. That is all hardware, get it done and spend your money on Horowitz's piano records (although old but romantic). For romance only, put Ella Fitzler or Diana Krall.... Or you like opera, play Puchini... All listed speakers have excellent vocal. Some people spend $$K on stereo but listen to garbage. Your budget may not get symphony right but definitely can get piano, violin sing, not mention vocal. Tuff for Beethoven, Wagner, and Mahler's large scale music but can play Mozart and Bach well. To play Beethoven and Mahler is my next dream for my stereo system too, any suggestion from anybody? Please don't give me B&W 801, Puppy,.... that kind of things, they are too expensive for me now. Give me something fit to a modest living room.