Help me down grade

I used to spend a lot of time listening and enjoying my system (cj 11a, ai 3a, well tempered table with clearaudio wood, cary 303 hdch and energy vertitas 2.3s). I now listen to the system a few times a year. I'm getting married and have agreed to down grade to a "book shelf system" for space and $ considerations. My living room is very live. It has lots of windows, hard wood floors, and old plaster walls. I have found that tubes have been the only solution to mellow out the live room. So, is it possible to get a decent book self tube system for 1000 to 1500? Suggestions?

Jolida 1301 or 1501 integrated, original Planet CD player and Epos M5 speakers would provide a respectable bookshelf system for those dollars.
Look at offerings from Signal Path/Era.
They have two integrateds that are tube hybrids and a couple of bookshelf speakers that would suit your needs.
don't negociate your music will soon be one of the few things you do 'for yourself'. downgrading may create remorse or resentment down the road, and thats never good.
PrimaLuna and a pair of the Reference 3As.

I agree with Jaybo. Totally. The next thing you know you will be relegated to the basement, with a single small chair positioned in the sweet spot.

Bring your wife into the photo. A small room represents an excellent opportunity to bet a really magical experience for a lot less money then it would take to fill a large room.

My advice, "think small but think big".
Thanks for the responses. Any other components to consider? A special thanks to Jaybo, however, I think that I have log about 10 hours of listening of the last 2 years. I have since gotten really into photography which takes up my (used to be) listening time. Now, if I had to unload my current hobby stuff ... that would be different. But a sincere thank you for your concern.

Are you looking for just speakers/amplification- or do you need sources as well? Are the speakers going to go on actual bookshelfs?
Don't give up on something that brought you so much pleasure? I agree with Jaybo also. I think if you downgrade from your current system to a bookshelf system, you will never listen to it. If you are definitely going to go with a bookshelf system, why bother concerning yourself with the room? I suggest that you sit down and listen to your current system before you part with it.
To Robr45 - yes I need a source - thanks
To Cyclonicman - thanks for your concern. Its a little touching to hear these pleas to keep what I have. If I had the dough and the space, I would certainly keep the system because on the rare occasions when I do listen ... it is very nice. But ... I do need the $ and I'm not as attached to the system as I used to be. Thanks again though!

two points...listening time comes in cycles, so its hard to predict when you'll have time or not(all working stiffs find this out eventually, and in weak moments sell things they shouldn't ) individual's 'space' and 'time' eventually becomes an issue in marriage (hopefully not a dealbreaker)...don't trade either for a handful of beads. as for downgrading, there are a wealth on underpriced integrateds out there, and 'real' bookshelf speakers too.
Don't do it unless you have to.

If you have to, keep the table and add a decent phono pre-amp if needed and build something around a music server with wireless connection to Roku Soundbridge or Logitech Squeezebox and a Peachtree Nova (a hybrid integrated with tubed pre-amp and DAC) moving forward.
Invest in a Squeezebox with a nice tube integrated and small speakers by ProAc or Spendor--you will be amazed at the kind of sound you can get with such a system. Buy used!
What is a "Squeeze box"... besides and accordian?

Where will the new speakers be located (shelf, close to wall, et cetera) and how large is the room?

Also will you be keeping the TT and/or CD player, or are you looking for something more compact?
The speakers will be mounted on the wall or a shelf

The room is 13 x 19

tt and cd player are going. Yes, something smaller would be better.

The speakers will be on the 19 foot wall not the 13 foot wall

A Squeezebox or Sound bridge are digital music controllers of sorts, somewhat similar in function to the traditional analog radio tuner.

However, they take digital signals in from multiple digital sources, generally over a wired or wireless (WiFi) network connection, the same as how laptop computers say connect wirelessly to a WiFi network and also the Internet.

Common sources of digital music that they connect to are various Internet based music or radio sources and digital music servers that might run on a laptop say in your home.

These devices also have an onboard DAC, though they are not as good as various outboard DACs available at reasonable cost today, so I would suggest that an audiophile will want to use these with an external DAC. They connect to the external DAC using the same kinds of wires typically used to connect CD transport or clock device to DAC. The DAC then connects to the pre-amp analaog line level inputs in the same way as would a conventional CD player.

See my system listing for an example of how this can work to deliver top notch sound on an otherwise conventional 2 channel rig. I use the Roku Soundbridge specifically in my system.

"Momma's got a squeezbox, daddy never sleeps at night."

My sincerest condolences on your upcoming nuptials. Losing your stereo system is but the first step in your emasculation.

That said, if you insist on downgrading, get a nice tubed integrated amp, like a PrimaLuna, hopefully it has a built in phono stage. Keep your analog gear, you could probably sell your Cary CDP and get a inexpensive replacement (Marantz CD-63SE). For speakers, you could get a pair of Proac or Dynaudio monitors.

Last word of advice, grow a pair and let her know that you can simplify, but it will cost more $$$, like a pair of Dynaudio Special 25 Anniversary speakers. I've been married for 25 years now, and I have trained my wife to stop asking for 'downsizing'. As each time I do it, it costs more and more $$$. Yeah honey, I can go from seperates to an integrated amp, because I love you. Then she finds out the $2K in seperates changes into a $5K integrated amp.....these new, smaller speakers cost $8K compared to those bigger, uglier speakers.....she learned fairly quickly.

I'm not a bad guy, I buy her some very nice toys too (diamonds, vacations, etc), but you have to train them that it's not ALL for them and NOTHING for you. Otherwise you will be in for a long, miserable experience.

Best Wishes,

Hi Mapman,

Thanks for your imput. I don't think I mentioned that selling the sterio was my idea. As I mentioned already, my hobby time is in photography now. If I had $8k for new small speakers, I'd have enough $ for a modest wedding and to keep my current system which is not worth 8k total. This is not about me losing a prized posession and her reaping the benifits. Its about hawking some things that have value and replacing them with things that make more sense at this time with our finances.

Actually, thanks for caring enough to give me advice on life and sterio equipment.

For wall/shelf mounting a pair of used Linn Kan II's (in good condition figure $400, or so) will sound good.

A used Linn Classik (all-in-one amp/CD + a tuner depending on the model) will mate well with the Kan's and the set should run less than $1500.

Unlike most speakers the Kan's do not suck when placed on the wall (they were designed for close to the wall placement).

You might also look into the small round Gallo speaker systems (two small/round speakers + their small powered sub).

Less expensive, but similar to the Gallo's, are Orb speakers (small round speakers + a small matching powered sub).

I'm familiar with tha Kan's and the early Gallo systems and would be fine with either.

Never listened to the Orb's.

What we use for casual listening (not listed with my system) is a Sharp SD-EX111 (all-in-one CD/tuner/amp) mated -w- small Polk RT15i speakers (placed on a bookshelf in the living room).

In that the speakers came from a local thrift ($15) and the Sharp was purchased @ closeout ($75 including shipping) this combo cost less the $100.

The Sharp retailed for $500 and the Polk's @ around $150.

If you are not in a hurry consider putting something inexpensive together like our Sharp/Polk combo.
Get a used Linn Classik k CD AM FM plus extras in one unit. Hook up a used pair of Linn Katan speakers and you should be good to go.
Where have you been? I haven't seen you post on here in years! Good to see you back!
If you want to save lots of shelf space, get an iPod, a Wadia iTransport, and a Peachtree integrated amp with built-in DAC. Their DACS sound great. Load the iPod with ALC files and you'll have a rig that sounds better than all but the most expensive CD players out there (I'd still NEVER give up vinyl, though).

For speakers, right now Audio Advisor has Energy Veritas 2.2i stand-mounted speakers for $899, and the matching Veritas stands for $169 (down from $450). That'd be a great way to retain the sonic signature from your old system. And you could always add a compact sub to fill out the last 1/2 octave compared to your dearly departed Veritas 2.3s.

If that won't work for you space wise, get a pair of Mirage Omnisat 3 FS speakers and a small sub (their MM6 is a 9" cube). The FS model has a miniscule footprint, is wonderfully efficient (93 dB, which would work great with a 50 wpc Peachtree amp).

If you must go with wall mount (and at that point I think you're conceding TOO MUCH), get the Mirage OMD-5 or OS3 Sat.

As for your bright room, you could easily tame that with a throw rug, drapes, and wall hangings. You should do that anyway; it's much easier to tune the room.
I had small system like what you're looking for now a few years ago. Wonderful sound, beautiful to look at, and within your budget if bought used.
Quad 11L speakers, Antique Sound Labs integrated tube amp, and a cd player such as an NAD, Cambridge Soundworks, or Sony CD/SACD player would do the trick.
Hi SD:

Don't post often as I haven't been out there/active in the hobby, as far as new gear goes, for many years due to cronic migraines.

I sometime respond to posts on older gear, when I feel that I may be offering good advice.

In this thread/case, since I've down sized from a few nice setups over the years, and I've set up a few systems with "close" to wall speaker placement...figured I'd add my 2 cents.

I still enjoy both the music and the hobby, just @ a more subdued rate than before.

Best regards,

Sorry to hear about the migraines. I suffer from them as well, but thank God i only get one every month or so. I work in the hospital and people don't realize how incapacitaing a true migraine is. I often hear people say "i have a migraine" and they are working like it's no big deal, running around, etc.
Best of luck to you!
You can easily do this without sacrificing any musical enjoyment.

Since your room is lively look for a speaker that has a natural high frequency rolloff. For example, a Linaeum tweeter based speaker, even against a wall, offers good dispersion. You can get one packaged in a Radio Shack LX5 Pro, off ebay for +- 100 a pair. They are excellent and will fill your room with drive and pace. Drive them with solid state so you don't have to worry about retubing/biasing etc. I would select a classic Luxman R1040 or R1050 receiver for the job- $75 to $225, again off ebay. It's smooth and detailed and works great with LX5s. Get a good pair of headphones for private listening and a squeezebox to access your music. Total cost: under $500.

Thanks for all the responses.

I'm leaning towards the Linn kan speakers and a peachwood decco. Any other speakers that are designed for "close to the wall placement"? Would the peachwood decco drive the linn kan speakers well enough?

That sounds like a nice little setup to me!