Rega Brio R Integrated combination with Vandersteen 1CI
loudspeakers offer superb performance
This Phase and time correct boxless floor stander design offers lofty drivers trick internal xover parts clarity bass extension to 38 HZ.
The Rega is a solid campact large transformer design with a pair of Sanken outputs remote control plenty of inputs as well as Phono for real Hi rez Rega Made in England and Vandersteen speakers Made in USA...
Dealer for both Best JohnnyR
given the music selection, i have heard the following and owned some of these components or seriously considered them. i go second-hand/demo whenever i can:
Oppo Blu-Ray player
Sonus Faber Concerto Grand (2nd hand now avail on AGon)
Krell KAV 300i (2nd hand)
Including cables, probably end up at less than 2500.
good luck and pls keep us posted.
I am sure you will get many great recommendations here.
I would imagine that there are thousands of combinations that could work well for your friend.
I would look real hard at the Meadowlark Audio Kestral Hotrods being sold here.
Maybe NAD for an integrated amp, and an Oppo 980h for cd,SACD, etc.
I'd do a mix of new and used equipment:
Tekton M-Lore at $650.00
Jolida Fx10, Sophia Baby, LM, Almarro 205, and similar $500.00 or less new/used
Grant, Shiit or similar DACs $350.00 +/-
Used transport Sony S9000ES, SACD/DVD/CD player or similar $195.00
JW interconnect and speaker cables $60.00 plus
Forgot, all the amps are integrated and tubes for bet sound at this price point.
Are you at all comfortable with DIY projects? If so, I'd suggest making the cables. Making your own version of the Kimber braided IC's is really easy, and the DIY extension cord speaker cable (from Lowe's, Home Depot, or even Walmart) is even easier. If you're not into that idea, then just start him out with Blue Jeans Cable. It'll leave a much larger chunk of the budget for quality gear than almost any other product out there, and won't be completely outclassed by gear in this price range.
As far as components go, you might find that a Peachtree integrated would be a good choice as the built-in DAC is excellent, and it would allow for a computer source via the usb input. I would recommend reasonably efficient speakers (>=90db) as the power amp isn't very stout (in the iDecco I use). The main complaints about these things have concerned the power amp, but you should know that it's not suffering from the usual class D issues. It's grain-free with a nice tonal balance - just not the last word in resolution or dynamics. If you went for the Nova instead of the Decco, you'd have a better power amp and more flexibility for inputs. The other great thing is that if he decides to keep upgrading, the Peachtree makes a really nice preamp and headphone amp, just a DAC, or an all-in-one second system further down the line.
If you're wanting to go in a completely different direction, let me suggest a loudspeaker. Look for the Martin Logan Aerius or Aerius i. These definitely thrive off of significantly more power than the Peachtree can provide, but they're brilliant speakers. With the right amplification, I really think you'd have to spend a ton more to beat them. They should be 8-900 used (maybe $1000 with shipping if you can find any locally). I really can't recommend these highly enough. You can probably find a used Adcom 5500 or B&K EX4420 for < $400 that would be a nice match.
You might take a look at the Virtual Systems here on Audiogon, specifically the Budget Minded area to get ideas.
I don't know where my original post went so I'll repost:
A mix of new and used, used easily found here on the Audiogon.
Tekton M-Lore ( StereoMojo Major Mojo award) $650.00
Tube integrated Jolida FX10, Sophia Baby, MiniMax, Almarro 205, all can be had from $350-$675.
Grant Fidelity DAC or Schiit DAC $350.00
Used Sony DVP S 9000ES as transport $195.00
Cabling and Interconnect JW Audio
Or you could swing for Audioconnection system which is also a superb set-up at a bargain price.
Thank you, some nice recommendations.
The Kestrals are spkrs I've owned and enjoyed with an Electrocompaniet integrated,however that might be more to my taste than my friends, but remain a possibility. I am not familar with Sonus Faber Spkrs. Yes mos def 2nd hand purchases are the way to go (except maybe part of the digital end, which will be a necessary part of the $2000 budget.)So I guess Spkrs and amp/preamp should come in at approx. $1400.@ 2nd hand prices to allow for Dig.source and cables.
Hmm not sure about the Vandersteens that is a thought.
What about NHT ST4's as my friend is more of a classic Rock Fan? I see these @ $500. Any one with any experience here? What amps/integrated would pair well? Any other thoughts?
Full range down to 38hz - there's no escaping the laws of physics, you need something kind of big. How about Revel F12s? Considering a sub at a later date might open up your options.
In terms of front-end, not clear if you're looking for a Blu-Ray player, a 2 Channel DAC, or a streamer. They're aren't many units that do all things. The Cambridge NP-30 might be worth a look for a streamer/DAC, plus a cheaper Blu-Ray player hooked up to it via coax or optical.
For cables, I really wouldn't go nuts. The usual suspects are Blue Jeans, Monoprice, and Supra. Check listings for bargains from the likes of Kimber, Audioquest, etc.
The last thing is...the room dimensions and speaker placement. Going longfield down the full length of that room would give pretty bad results. For optimal nearfield/midfield listening, you're going to have to move the couch up into the top third-ish.
So again, longer term perhaps, he'd have to be thinking about bass traps for all corners, panels for reflections from the sides, and the new space that would exist behind the couch to that rear window.
personally, i would take the SF grand pianos over the NHT. Vandersteens are well regarded, though my own knowlege here is very small. many years ago, i did compare SF to toher brands and i prefer the tonal character of the music/notes when i listen to the SF. High current amp. YMMV.
I prefer to buy new, as opposed to used. The speakers are the star here.
Spend 40% speakers, 40% amp & dedicated cd player, 20% for a blu ray player and cables. When your buddy can free up another $150, he can purchase a standalone Logica internet radio.
Speakers: Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1s
Integrated Amp & CD Player Cambridge Audio 550 Amp & CD player
Blu Ray Player Sony 580
Spend $150 or so with Better Cables or Signal Cables or Audioquest. Plenty out there.
I recently went through the same process due to my relocation. My apartment is exactly the same size like yours and I ended up with the following:
Speakers: B&W 685. $500shipped used. Bought it right here.
Speakers cables: Transparent Musicwave Super Bicable. $400 shipped. Bought from Ebay
DAC/Amp: Wadia powerdac 151. $800 from Amazon.
Source: Sony PS3 with my USB drive connected. $300
I'm still amazed by the sound quality of the 685 given the puny 15w/ch from the Wadia.
Hope this helps