Help me to build my first stereo system

Hi, I’m AJ and I’m new here to the forum. 
I am getting married in June and I want to get a nice stereo system for our new apartment. Only thing is they im on a budget… I’d like to spend around 1500 max between speakers amp and turntable. What would you guys recommend to me ? 

thanks so much for the help :)


According to my research I found these following devices: 

cambridge axr100

klipsch rp-600m 

Audio-Technica AT-LP5X


what do you guys think ? Would it be a good set up ?


If it was me, I would definitely look at used gear, you are probably thinking the same thing. I would try to find a good Sony ES integrated amp or receiver, a Rega TT and some Monitor Audio bookshelf speakers. I have not searched what is currently available but I would think you could find those pieces close to your budget. If you wanted to have some extra fun you could try an AR XA turntable (and learn how to update it) and some EPI speakers (and learn how to recap the crossover). You would get a lot of help on the forums.


Good luck and have fun!

Off the wall answer: Get a good sound bar for your TV until you get enough budget. Edit: Or start anywhere and enjoy, you'll know where to go after that.

I was under similar budget a little while back and ended up getting a Rega Brio integrated for $300, Tekton Lore speakers for $500,  Schiit Audio dac for $200 running through an older NAD dvd/cd player and I’m extremely pleased in the result  for money spent.   You mentioned a turn table and I did not go that route.   However I think you can certainly put together a nice set up within you budget with some research and advice from the experts on the forum.

@augjonas Give the stuff a try! And of course -- remember that speaker position is what’ll make the magic happen. Away from the back wall. Up on stands. The two speakers and you in a triangle.

Find a good local hi-fi shop, of the independent, "high-end" variety. Even if you have to travel several hundred miles. Make it an overnight trip. If you provide your approximate location, perhaps those in your vacinity can suggest a dealer or two.

You can't expect perfect (and imperfect ;-) strangers to know what you find appealing in hi-fi gear. Helping you find a musically satisfying system is the job of a professional retailer. His profit margin is built into the price of every piece of hi-fi gear on the market.

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Welcome to the machine, and congrats (condolences) on the upcoming nuptials. I’d recommend this system. The amp is a The Absolute Sound product of the year and also has a nice internal DAC in case you wanna get into streaming at some point, which you absolutely should. The turntable has a better tonearm than the one you chose and also allows for important vertical tracking angle (VTA) adjustment, and I think just flat out looks better. The speakers are excellent Wharfedale speakers with a walnut finish that will nicely match the turntable (fyi, wives love stuff like that). Total bill — $1500 plus tax.

If you’re leery of buying the amp listed above used (although it’s got low hours and should be perfectly fine), this Yamaha would make a good substitute and has a phono input that may or may not be better than the phono preamp in the turntable, but you can compare and choose — I’d go with the NuPrime amp above if I was you as it probably sounds better and likely has a better DAC. Hope this helps, and best of luck.


It's as subjective as picking a favorite color, and your speaker selection should take your room into consideration, so take most of our specific favorite recommendations with that in mind.  You really need to satisfy you. 

I'd spend most of my time and budget finding a pair of speakers you love that will work well in your room, then focus on an amplifier that will drive them.  Add music source as money allows.  

Buying good used gear can lead to some great bargains.  

BTW, the reason I recommended the Wharfedale speakers over the Klipsch is that they’re a straight-down-the-fairway, very good speaker that’s well balanced and won’t offend you in any way.  The Klipsch, on the other hand, can sound bright and become fatiguing with extended listening depending on the system.  A good system is all about balance, which is why I recommended the system I did.  I think the system you mentioned could potentially sound bright and fatiguing, but that’s just an educated guess.  Just my $0.02 FWIW. 

Can’t go wrong with a pair of Vanatoo active speakers ( assuming still available) and table with cart of your choice + Rega Phono mini phono preamp. I own and can vouch for both.  Rega, Project or Cambridge would be good turntable choices were it me  



With your budget, why are you looking for a turntable?

Vinyl is expensive to do well and it expensive to build a library of music.

You have to search for and then buy everything you can listen to.

Why not bypass vinyl and go directly to digital. Buying a streamer and a subscription to Tidal or Qobuz will allow you to have millions of songs at your fingertips.

Paradigm sells powered speakers (the amps are inside) that have a streamer built in, 3.5 mm analog inputs to connect a phono preamp to using an adapter, and a subwoofer out. Best of all they have ARC room correction to tune the speakers for your room. They sound incredible and can also be used wirelessly using an app from your phone (spotify or the dts playfi app) or a PC. They are on sale at 50% off ($299 each) so you will have budget left for a turntable:

Vince Hanada recently reviewed the PW 600, in a system that included the PW Soundbar, for SoundStage! Xperience. “Configured as a stereo pair,” he wrote, “the PW 600s sounded outstanding, easily rivaling separate speakers and electronics costing many times their $1198/pair price.