Check out integrateds from Creek, Rega or Roksan and mathcing CD players... great British HiFi values that might fit your ticket.
Alternatively, you could also check out Linn Classik, an itegrated CD, Tuner and amp that has received very good reviews.
NAD L73 DVD. I have a NAD 4155 Tuner that is more than 20 years old and I listen to it almost daily. Some people complain about reliabilty issues, ergo...caveat emptor. Also, Arcam has an integrated product you may find interesting. It is called the "Solo."
Cheers + good luck.
CONSONANCE...by Opera Audio
I will second the Roksan Kandy III integrated. It has two pre amp outs for the sub. Very well built also. Good luck.
I own an Audio Refinement Complete integrated amp and a Music Hall CD-25 player with upgraded opamps. The combination is very, very nice and could be had used for less than your budget.
Another alternative I can recommend from personal experience would be a Rotel integrated, like an RA-1050, RA-1060 or RA-02 with a Rotel CD player like the RCD-1070, RCD-1072 or RCD-02. In my experience both Rotel and NAD are a little better built than Cambridge Audio and my preference is for the Rotel equipment but any of those three will be a good start for your friend.
The Linn Classik would also be a very nice solution in that price range. I've helped two different friends buy one and both have been absolutely thrilled with theirs. It's a very high-quality piece of equipment that will last for years.
You could also look at Cambridge Audio. Their new line of cd spinners are in your price range. If you combine the Integrated amp with the cd player from the same place of purchase they should give you a bit of a deal.....worth trying for. All the brands listed give you good value....have fun and let your ears decide....good listening.
great suggestions everyone. I begin the listening tomorrow. I am in Hong Kong at the moment so among some of the used shops there can be an interesting sellection. I will report back what we find.....hopefully some good older gear perhaps.
I would 2nd the Rotel recommendation. I first started in this hobby with the Paradigm Reference line and Rotel equipment. Thought they worked quite well with one another. The RA-1062/RCD-1072 combo has received universal praise and would be well under your stated budget.
I recommended the Music Hall CD-25 in my post above and it occurs to me now that a very good combination could be a Music Hall CD-25.2 paired with the new Music Hall A-Series integrated amp, particularly if your friend prefers to buy new and get a warranty, probably a good thing for a newbie.
They look good together and if the amp is anything like as much of a bargain as the original CD-25, it would be a very nice system for a total price of $1,080 new.
Here are links to one vendor:AmpCD-25.2
would 3rd the rotel equipment. cannot beat it for the $$$$$
Jungson has some good gear and it is not as expensive as the average gear at it's quality point. There's alot of inexpensive chinese gear that is a great value for the dollar.Jungson stuff is becoming more well known as their amps are spectacular and their Source components are nice too. You should hear their high end cables. Mind blowing for what they cost!! Excellent product from wall to speakers. They maker nice speakers too.
Try shopping around for a used Plinius 8200 Integrated... You may be able to find a MK. 1 for around $1000 which leaves $500 for a used Rega Planet 2000...
Second the Plinius. I have a Plinius 8100 and am very, very happy with it. Built like a tank and sounds awesome. It is being fed by an EAD CD-1000 mkIII. This combination cost me less than $1300 used.
We went out looking and heard a few different pieces. At first, my buddy was reluctant to buy anything used. That lasted until he heard a Roksan Caspian MKII that should be out of the budget, but used would be do-able. We have been able to hear the Cambridge audio line up and they are nice, but lack a bit of the warmth, detail and weight of the roksan. We are still looking around to hear second hand gear at this point. Hopefully we can find some decent stuff to listen to.
We also had a chance to hear the NAD 320bee and the 352. They were both unimpressive, but I think that is due to the speakers we heard them on. Sonus Faber tiny bookshelves...can't remember which ones, in a loud room.....not exactly the ideal listening test! I think we will try them again in better circumstances if possible.
My vote is for the NAD/Music Hall, I have both along with a set of Paradigm Studio 20v3s.. Great setup!! I would also recommend Signal Analog2s interconnects for the Music Hall to NAD 352, made a big difference in imaging and detail.. You can get a used Music Hall 25 w/mods for around $450 here leaving you $550 for the integrated amp and cables (NAD C352 goes for around $500 new and cables $49... sounds like it hits your budget and is a great setup.. Good luck
In classic fashion, in a play we all have lived out and thus know the ending to, after some consideration, my friend has decided to increase his budget.....!
We now have about 2000$ us to work with. I think hearing the better gear made him rethink the longer term ownership and upgradeability. I would like to ask now, in terms of what cd player and Integrated would be a good choice, not just now with his paradigm bookshelf's but also in the future when he wants to get some really good speakers. I think the emphasis should be on the integrated. Something that can drive some bigger speakers possibly down he road. He likes the ROKSAN gear so far and I think that would be a good integrated to start with, but I want to try more things out. t is very difficlt to hear these peices side by side so recommends weigh highly.
Any more ideas?
I have read some great things about the oft suggested music hall 25. Is thisa re badged shanlig player? Can anyone tell me if there is a differanc, and also what shanling is the equivalent? Here in Hong Kong I have not seen a music hall, but shanlings are everywhere.
The Decision has been narrowed down to either......
1) Classe cap151 and a shanling s100 mark II or
2)Roksan caspian integrated and player.
Any last ideas between the two?
If I only had those two choices, I'd go with the Classe CAP 151 and the Shanling cdp.
However, if I had $2K, I'd go with a tubed integrated (Jolida 302, or Cayin) and a Sony XA7ES cdp.
The Classe Cap 151 is nice. I had one and loved it. In an attemp to upgrade I got the CP-35 and CA-100 and it was a downgrade. The integrated was nicer.I don't know about Classe's new seperates but at the time the Cap 151 was one of their nicer pieces.I'm using a Jungson integrated in my second system along with a Jungson Tubed CDP and I think it is quite nice especially for the money. Nicer than the Classe Cap 151 but I am judging this on memory.
Thanks to all of you for your input. My buddy got a classe cap151 and a shanling cd s100 mkII. He is thrilled.