Used: Speaks; ATC SCM 7, Int. amp; Onix (British) A-60, CD; CEC, cables; LAT International or Signal Cable.
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Front end: Mac G4 Laptop
Rip CD's uncompressed to Hard Drive.
DAC: Apogee USB Mini-Dac
Speakers: Mackie HR824 Bi-Amped Powered Speakers
Amazing synergy, hard drive makes a great source partnered with Apogee Dac and bi-amped Mackies. There is some kind of synergy between these components. This is a seriously accurate and musical system, sounds better than systems costing quite a bit more. No need for pre-amp as DAC has volume control, no need for speaker cables as the amps are internally bi-amped. Run XLR Balanced line level cables from DAC to speakers. Have to hear it to believe it. I use it for a second system, but man is it enjoyable!
$1000 is too much (that would make for a $3K system). Let's make it interesting ... let's set the bar at the $500 range ($1.5K system) and for new components.
Amps: NAD C320BEE ($400 new).
Speakers: NHT SB2 ($400 new); Omega Loudspeakers Super 3 ($540 new);
CD players: Music Hall MMF CD25 ($540 new)
Cables & Interconnects: Signal Cable; Better Cables
Magnepan speakers. krell 300i intergrated amp, Transcendent sound Grounded Grid Pre. EVS DAC or modified players. Also add Quad ESLs (which I haven't heard, but within their SPL handling are supposed to have a midrange than rivals pretty much everything). I also like the Gyro SE table for a little over a grand used (with or without arm). Also modified Regas are pretty good. Origin Live arms are $1k are pretty good too, but I haven't heard them. Not sure if any of this is "giant killer" though. But if nothing it's solid value. Probably anything that is giant killer is probably modified and not factory stock. Everyone has to cut corners somewhere to keep costs in line.
Though you can't expect to just pick and choose from our list of giant killer components and expect to assemble a system that has synergy or even meets your listening tastes or expectations. Fair warning.
Yeah, I would have to say go for the $500 offer from Magnapan. Damn hard to beat that one, even going DIY.
Keep the budget low on the digital front end and get a Toshiba 3960 or 4960 universal, even better and mod it. That would run you about $200 tops.
Then take the savings from your front end and buy a used Pathos Classic One integrated (does that have enough juice at 70 tube watts for the Maggie's). I've seen them on Audiogon for less than $1000 in the past.
Oh yeah, then go make your own cables from one of the many, many recipe's available.
Yes, I'm advocating a lot of DIY and used stuff, but that's the only way to get good performance and value these days.
I have to agree with Bob on this one. Being a DIY fan myself, I saved about 2 grand on my Teres. Almost everything else I bought used, or at a substantial discount. I got my AN speakers for about 45% off because of a knocked in back corner, and he threw in a set of AN speaker cables too!
Good deals on used gear are becoming harder to find, though. That's what makes DIY so attractive. And it's more fun.
I have put together a low priced, high end, system that rivals many systems I've heard costing 5-10 times the price. It takes patience and careful choices especially with matching receiver amps and interconnects to get proper sound from this $1,500 system of lightly previously owned components.--
1) magnepan 1.6 QR speakers
2)luxman r-117 160 watt/channel receiver (with CD bypass)
3)sony 75es cd player
4)john risch designed belden 89259 interconnects
5)nordost super flatline shotgun speaker cables
6)powervar 12 line conditioner for receiver
7)ieps digital line filter/conditioner for cd player
8)If you want to lower the cost of the system to the $1100-1200 range you can use a nakamichi sr-3 receiver and skip the powervar 12 and use one single line conditioner. The nakamichi is superb for all but the loudest orchestral passages and perfect for chamber music, jazz, pop and vocals.
9)all components ( except cd player) were purchased from Audiogon and Ebay