Help with a secondary system


So, juxtaposed to her interest in getting a bigger tv, the wife has graciously acknowledged my need for a legitimate audio playback system in our living room. I have my main digital and vinyl audio system down in my basement listening room and I have no urge (or financial means) to replicate it either in quality or in price upstairs.

We also have a Tivoli radio system through which we jack our iPhones or Pads for Pandora and other streaming media. But many times I just want to put on a cd for the musical continuity and not have to hassle with youtube, etc. And I have no urge to transfer all my discs and vinyl download onto my iPhone, either.

I have an old Onkyo TX575 processor I bought new in 2000 or so (and haven't used in about seven years). Everything else will have to be bought new or used. No need for a sub upstairs. Plus, I have two toddlers, though I can keep the main components out of their reach. I'd like to keep the budget under $700. For everything.


1. Speakers? Should I go with, say, the Stereophile-acclaimed Pioneer SP-BS122 ($129). A used pair of Triangle Titus when they come up for sale? What would you recommend?

2. I assume we'll also use this system for the tv, though we don't watch much stuff that demands high volume or ground-shaking bass. I'm not into 5.1 or 7.1, either. Should I stick with the Onkyo? Has receiver technology improved immensely since 2000? Should I even use a receiver or get a good used integrated?

3. What about a CD player? Or should I use our existing, ten-year old Sony DVD player (can you tell we're not home theater people :)? I mean, I do want SOME fidelity in this system, but I'll save the serious listening for downstairs.

It's odd to be in a position where I'm building a system I know isn't going to be for hi-fidelity, but I still have audiophile standards.

What say you?
"1. Speakers? Should I go with, say, the Stereophile-acclaimed Pioneer SP-BS122 ($129). A used pair of Triangle Titus when they come up for sale? What would you recommend?"

I tried a pair of those on my computer. They're a pretty good value and they do sound OK. As long as you don't expect really high end sound, you should be happy with them.

If the Onkyo you have is a receiver, that should work fine.
My situation is much like yours. I have primary system in a dedicated room in the basement and a secondary one augmenting video and providing background music in the living room.

I own a pair of the Pioneer speakers and believe them to be quite good and should work fine for your situation.

As with Zd,I would use the Onkyo if it is a receiver and in good condition. Otherwise look for a used budget integrated. Several show up on AG.

Try the DVD player, some of the Sony players play CDs well. If it proves not to be satisfactory then you might consider a new player. About 4 years ago it was possible to buy a new audio quality DVD player for a fraction of the original retail price for lack of BlueRay capability. I have a Marantz 4001 in the secondary system that works well for CDs, having an audio only function. Several come up on Ebay for less than $100. I can also understand if you have an issue with buying a used disk player as they can have problems. If that is so you might check into the budget Oppo players.

I spent ~$400 on the second system and my wife and I are very satisfied.
I'd use what you have and look for a used pair of Silverline Minuets. Saw them at an audio show where the designer was using a low-fi CD player he bought at a garage sale and it sounded unbelievably good. Then go from there. Best of luck.