ohms.....magnum dynalab receiver(grunt and still lots of great classical radio out there....a dual 405 or 505(the miracle of semi auto)....any decent cd player......the whole shibang under 10k new, and no merry-go-round.
22 responses Add your response
Nothing beats electrostatics if you can place them properly (distance from front wall), so my suggestion would be
Quad 988 -- $4k
Pass Aleph 30 (or Aleph J) -- $1k
Modwright Modified Transporter -- $4k (new)
Cheap Oppo 980H CD player (for SACD and cases where the music isn't on the computer yet) -- $169
Computer for all the music in uncompressed format -- $1k
You can adjust your budget by stepping up in price to 2805s (around $6k) or down to 63s ($2k). The convenience of computer Audio is just too much to give up and the sound is very good too. This is pretty similar to what I use (Quad 2805 and iMac+Benchmark DAC1 as the computer solution). Many people use tubes amps with Quad (I have one too), but I prefer the Pass.
You didn't mention turntable so I assume that you don't have a lot of records. You should allocate some budget for that if this assumption is incorrect, but I don't think it is worthwhile to step into vinyl from scratch at this time.
Vandersteen 2Ce sigs---$1000 (used)
Raysonic 168 ---$2600 new ( get used if pos.)
AR LS-15---$1200 (used)
AQ Niagara 2 pair---$1500 (used)
AQ Volcano---$850 (used)
Channle Island D-200 monoblock amp---$2300 new (get used if pos.)
or AR D-200---$1000 (spend diff on VD David power cords)
4@$325---$1300 & worth it!!!
2 quads Amperex Orange label tubes---$200 (used)
total=$9650 for some sweet sound!
Best for classical.
Spkrs: used Harbeth 40.
There's a new model out, so the old one I'm recommending should get a discount.
Electronics: used YBA -- an integrated (unless you find a good deal on pre+power) & a cd player. CAVEAT: the cdplayer must be easy to repair (i.e. the transport).
That's it. The music will be great. The looks -- not so great. Plus there's no tube (but you can buy one to stick on top of the amp, for looks:))! Regards
If you like classical, listen to Vienna Acoustics with Primare amplification and CDP. In your price range that's hard to beat. Get a SS integrated amp. For $3500, the Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grands are incredibly hard to beat.
When you listen to the electrostatics and the Harbeth, be sure to listen for the low bass and dynamics. Classical music without those two elements would be frustrating to me.
People that tell you any one solution is "the best" or "unbeatable" haven't listened with your ears. Take some leads from here, but ultimately decide for yourself by listening.
What are some favorite recordings? That may help to fine tune the recomendations.
You need a good midrange for classical.
The Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grand's are indeed great value. You only need to be aware that John Atkinson was disappointed with their bigger brother - nasal, limited dynamic range. So if you go that way just make sure to get the right model with the better midrange unit.
Well Gonglee I am not going to come up with a recommendation for equipment, but rather a suggestion you look at the wider picture. Ask yourself what you want to achieve, and then look for the type of system that will achieve it for you.
To decide what you want to achieve, ask yourself how highly you rate these individual aspects of the system's performance:
- Flat frequency response
- Tone quality - neutral, warm, bright, dark?
There are a number of ways you can go, but bear in mind that no system does it all. Not for $10,000 anyway. I have spent close to 10x more than you and my system does not do it all. Rather, it does what I want it to do.
Conventional boxed speaker / SS or Valve amp: The most versatile type of configuration but even then there is considerable variation in the ability to deliver in each of the qualities described.
Electrostatic speaker - wonderful midrange, imaging, and dynamics and usually very neutral. Also usually lacking in bass, scale, and top end extension. But if you love electrostatic sound, there is no replacement.
High efficiency speakers - I have yet to find the perfect high-eff speaker. These have "high efficiency sound" - tremendous dynamics, loads of inner detail, and incredible speed. Unfortunately these also suffer from coloration and lack of coherence (horn systems especially).
Mini monitors - tremendous coherence and imaging. You will be surprised what a high quality bookshelf speaker can do. Usually has lack of bass extension and requires a powerful amplifier.
I have experienced systems of all types as listed above and I have enjoyed them all. Many of them are not to my taste - combination of different needs of their owners and my own peculiar preferences. My music is 95% classical and it sounds very different on different systems, even other systems "designed" for classical. Choose what makes you happy, and good luck.