Help Me Choose (new) Bookshelf Speakers, and Integrated Amplifier for $1300 and under!


Hello Audiogon Community, 

I would like to buy a pair of bookshelf speakers and an amplifier for a smallish living room, for $1300 or less. 

My decision was Elac UB5 and Yamaha 701 amplifier. Is this the best decision??

Some notes... I do not need a dac! A phono stage would be nice, but I have a music hall mini. My turntable is Music Hall MMF 5.3  We listen to all music, mainly acoustic, classical and jazz. We prefer a neutral, accurate sound.    

Thank you for your help and input!!!



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Rega Brio-R  integrated amp and Rega RX1 (predecessor RS1 or R1 ) speakers 

highly recommended  
You were right on with the Elac’s and Yamaha.  But I’d go a step further and try to find a used Preamp and amp.  Look for an old B&K  EX442, St202, etc and any decent preamp with pre-outs.  The Elacs love power.
Are Elac UB5s really that good as the reviews say? Are they really as good as speakers costing two-three times that much? I have not heard them myself. I will try to check out Rega's
used or small Maggies?

I own the following system and use it in my bedroom. Assuming you will be buying new.

Outlaw Audio RR 2160 @$800
Wharfedale Denton Anniversary speakers @$500

Outlaw comes with built in phono. Have used the previous incarnation (2150) for the past 12 years.

http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/rr2160.html

https://www.cnet.com/news/outlaw-audio-rr-2160-the-audiophile-choice-for-stereo-receivers/

https://www.musicdirect.com/speakers/wharfedale-denton-80th-anniversary-bookshelf-speakers-pr

http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/index.php/loudspeakers/65-reviews/519--wharfedale-denton-80th-anniversay...

Rich

Used Parasound HCA-1000 or 1500a amplifier Used Parasound P/LD1100 preamp and Dynaudio Emit M20 and what ever source you want. I think the UB5 was a good choice I bought a pair of B6 second hand when they first came out on eBay for $190 but just picked up an Immaculate pair of Tannoy Mercury MX2-m for $115 form the bay and in my room they sound identical. In this hobby I think it's more fun to have components gives it that old school feel to have a preamp and power amp makes set up fun and its cool to look at. Just my two Penny's cheers guys.
The elacs are quite good for the money. I was very impressed I setup a atmos theater used for 2 channel audio as well for a friend with the Marantz SR7010 for the pre a mcintosh 7108 amp with elac ub5s and a dual velodyne 12" powered subs. They sound quite good. I was impressed. I didn't like the B5s as much. The ub5s have better topend with the intigrated tweeter/mid-range driver. For the price it's a no brainier. I have since bought a pair for work paired up with a Peachtree Nova 150 for our commen area for my office staff. The girls crank it up all the time and it gets loud. As for speakers they are a great budget choice. I wouldn't recommend the Peachtree as there is no phono stage. But it's a great little amp none the less. 
Could always go with a vintage Marantz or pioneer sx series. It would give it that true vintage feel with nice chrome and the Marantz blue would be nice, and get a decent phono stage as well. 100-125 watts is all those elacs really need. 
Alright friends, I think I am coming closer to my decision, 

Outlaw RR 2160, and ELac UB5. Somebody Suggested Wharferdale Denton's but I like more presence in the treble. 
Yes, the Elacs are the in thing these days. They are fine at their price points but I don't see them as class leaders.  Try the little JBL 530, quite a step up, very nice bi-radial horns.
I used a NuPrime IDA-8 integrated with the ELAC UB-5s, thought it was a great combination of smoothness, imaging, detail and dynamics. I did not, however, use the analog inputs, as you would be with your Music Hall front end.
Julie Mullins in her Absolute Sound review of the IDA-8 amp, extensively listened to a vinyl source through the analog inputs and was so impressed she bought the trial sample. 
Occasionally, the ELACs go on special for $399 a pair, and I've seen demo Nuprime IDA-8s at $899.
Also, if you can find a dealer who carries both brands, you should be able to get a system price close to your $1300 target.

The HSU HB1 are very nice and pretty efficient. For amps, if you can find a used Rega Mira 3 integrated, they are a very good value. 
A lot of good choices. The ELAC's are very good. My choice of a integrated would be the Rogue Audio Sphinx. Clean, simple, 100 watt/Ch. class D power section with tube pre. Has a good phono section and headphone amp section. Highly rated. Some good used prices out their for this integrated....
Cheers,
Tim
Might as well spend half that and save the other half by going with Emotiva. Specifically, their ta-100 integrated and airmotiv-b1 bookshelf speakers.

https://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/pres-and-pros/ta-100

https://emotiva.com/products/speakers/airmotiv-b1

There's a nice pair of Silverline Preludes available here now for $550 that would sound great with the Outlaw, if you're open to small floorstanders.  Best of luck. 

Alright friends, I think I am coming closer to my decision,

Outlaw RR 2160, and ELac UB5. Somebody Suggested Wharferdale Denton's but I like more presence in the treble.

I would call a few Elac dealers and see what integrated amps they recommend. I know that not every unit of a given product run is perfect, but I bought one of the first Outlaw RetroReceivers and I was absolutely underwhelmed and sent it back.

A couple good integrated amp candidates would be something in your price range from Marantz or NAD. It turns out Elac makes an integrated amp, too.
Rega and Rega.......
I had a Peachtree Decco 2 integrated amplifier with built in DAC in my office.  I loved it.  Really nice little piece of gear.  They are selling for $450-$550 on eBay.  That leaves $800 or so for speakers.  Not bad...
Cerwin Vegas XLS 12 and Chinese 50 watt tube amp , You got it not to mention they look nice too.
I heard a pair of Wharfedale 10.2 speakers paired with a Creek Evolution 50A integrated last weekend at a friend's house and I thought the system sounded very good. It was set up in an average size bedroom and filled the room nicely - his son's room. Don't know exactly how much he paid for the system but I think its within your price range. He's an avid audiophile so I know he did a solid research before selecting this gear.