help building a new system on a budget...

i want to move on from my "16-year-old-this-is-supposed-to-be-good-and-it's-cheap" system and need some help. i'm looking to go tube -- do i need both preamp and amp, or just an amp? i also want an older pair of floor-standing speakers. my budget is limited (around 600 or 700 would be nice). i basically want something that sounds a little warmer and more real than what i have now, and that will be equally at home w/ records and cd's playing rock, jazz and classical. my room is small (roughly 18 x 12) and has hard wood floors w/ an area rug (if this makes any difference). if you have any suggestions, please shout 'em out. thanks.

If you want to go with tubes, you'll have limited choices for your budget. You'll need both a preamp and an amp unless you choose an integrated amp, which has both the preamp and amp in one chassis. You'll save money by going with the integrated, so let's start there.

I would recommend the entry-level Jolida integrated (JD-1301?), which is $350 new, around $250 used. Mate it with some Totem Mites ($300 used), and maybe an old NAD, Rotel, or Denon CD player and you'll have a dynamite system for the price.

Good luck,

A few years ago I started along the same quest. My suggestion is to do a little research on possible equipment selections. After narrowing items, watch for your favorites in the Audiogon classifieds and make a deal. If an iyem you purchase is not to your liking it can be resold with little risk. I built a very satisfying system with this method and not only learned quite a bit about different gear but got to play with some very nice toys. Good luck.
Second the Jolida 1301. Rarely found used. Mites are great, own a pair. Cheap Toshiba DVD/CD player mated with DAC works. Used Assemblage 1.0 or Adcom 600 $125

Jolida 250
Mites 300
Toshiba 50
DAC 125
Cables/IC 50
(Signal C.)
Sp. stands 50

Going w/tubes does not necessarry mean you're going to get the sound you want. Some inexpensive 70-80's Solid state equipment (Rec./Int. Amps) sound great and has pretty decent phone stages as well. The finest inexpensive spk. that I've ever heard in my system is the small Tannoy Mercury MX-1M Monitor. The newer Fusion 1 is good as well but not as nearly as good the MX-1M. (I've listened the the "Mites" and was not impressed w/their sound. But, the whole name of the game is matching components which work well w/each other and the room!) A good sounding amp and source equipment will make any spk. sound better. As far as spks. go, generally a soft dome tweeter will provide a warmer sound. If you go w/a small bookshelf spk., good stands will be needed and they will be needed to be filled to make them more stable. Considering the size of your room, 5 to 6 1/2 woofer should be the enough for good bass. Good Luck!
thanks for the input so far. the jolida looks pretty nice, i think i might try it out. although i read a few reviews of the totem mites that said they are rather transparent, which i don't think i want. i'd rather something with a little more warmth. how do you guys feel about old advents? other suggestions?
Jolida JD202
Spendor S6 or S8

Don't skimp on the speaker. Upgrade one component at a time and you will come out much better in the end.

Good luck!
I agree with the Jolida, for a cd player you may find a Marantz CD-63se of a CD-67se for a good price. Speakers you may consider a used pair of B & W 805 matrix.
Jolida 102b is maybe their sweetest sounding integrated amp; tubed design with EL84 for output tubes. Stock used examples are about 400. Replacement of stock tubes makes a big difference and they are not that expensive; ie, the tubes. Replacement of coupling caps with better caps also is a material improvement. This amp makes around 20 watts and can power a variety of speakers.

To go with this amp I would suggest an Omega single driver speaker. The TS1 and TS2 models are excellent; they have different model numbers now. Brand is Omega and the site is easy to find. Great products and steals at the used prices; new is pretty reasonable, too. Requires stands.

A Living Voice Auditorium speaker, used, is also an excellent choice and a floor stander. Very efficient and highly recommended. Used around 1400/pr and well worth it.

There is a Tannoy 8" pair of pro speakers for sale and they would make an excellent choice, too; price is right at about 550. They are efficient,as well. Requires stands.

Reimer McCullough is another excellent choice used; one for sale at 1150 right now. Requires stands.

Klipsch Heresy speakers are always an easy pick with great efficiency and reasonable prices used. Prices range from 300 to 700 (very high) depending on cabinet finish and overall condition. These should have stands to cant them rearwards a touch and raise them a couple of inches off the floor for best performance.

Meadowlark Kestrel is a favorite of many and a floor stander with a small footprint. Pair for sale used at 600 right now. Efficient enough for a 20 watt amp I think; I'd do a bit more research on this one though.

For a bit more money this speaker is a no brainer. It works well with all kinds of music; I've owned several examples of these. Audio Note ANE/LX at 2200 used. Very, Very efficient and excellent bass response down into the 20s. Requires stands. These range in price, new, from 3500 to 140K!

For a subwoofer for not a ton of money look for a Pinnacle Subsonic or Babyboomer. They are both powered subs with a very small footprint and excellent performance.

For a CD player I'd acquire either a nice used CEC unit for around 600, or so; the model TL51Z is a belt drive and should prove a good choice. I would go another route, though, and acquire a California Audio Labs Alpha DAC (digital to analogue converter)CD and a decent quality to use solely as a transport. The Marantz units mentioned in the prior post are an excellent choice for this purpose. The internal DACs of those CD players are not in the same league as the Cal Audio Alpha, though. If you want DVD capability along with top notch CD transport capabilities look no further than a used Sony DVPS-7000. The sony was the top of the line DVD player when it was introduced and is built like it with a copper chassis. It also has a seperate laser for the DVD and one for the CD. Great video output, to, even though it is not a progressive scan. Used 150 to 200; a bargain.

If you need a phono preamp I'd suggest a Dynavector P75 or, for less money (that is 595), look to the Project offerings.

Good luck.
alright, one more question. if i can find a jolida 202a for a reasonable price, is it worth getting over the 1301 or 1701?
Call Mike at Jolida. You won't find a nicer guy. Terribly honest too. Just tell him the speakers and room you will be using and he will tell you what amp to go with.

Good luck!