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I appreciate the advice, but as I said, I have the amps, they pretty much fell into my lap. If I were to buy speakers for amps, I'd have to find some speakers, buy them and then buy amps to match. I'd love to be able to do that, but the budget wouldn't allow it.
I understand it may not be ideal, but it's the situation I'm in. Even with some repair needed, I'm likely to come out an order of magnitude cheaper than had I have bought them off another user's shelf. I'm literally $150 into the amps and phono stage at this point.
Price point: Entry level. Think someone who's trying to dip their big toe into this world. I'm sure the Devores are wonderful, but they are well outside the realm of possibility.
Size of room: Roughly 18'x10'x9'
Sonic Presentation: I don't know that I have the knowledge and vocabulary to express that. As I said, I'm just beginning the journey. I'm still learning, and want to learn.
I can recommend the DCM Time Windows. I am now on my third pair (after acquiring pairs one and two in ’77 and ’78). Nearly perfect impulse and phase response. Floor-standers with superb horizontal dispersion (thanks to a prism-shaped cabinet). Sensitivity of 90db, bass down to at least 30hz. Easily driven by a 20 watt amp (tube or ss). A true classic design from the genius of Steve Eberbach. And a successful production run of 30,000 pairs. Sold new for $660/pr in ’76, ended at $1200/pr ten years later (when production started on Eberbach’s next-generation Time Frames). I paid $219 + shipping for my present pair! A true bargain and competitive with today’s expensive speakers!
Sweet pair of amps you got there Andy. Not often I see "300B" and "entry level" together, not to mention B&O! Bit of an eclectic system for sure, but so what? From what I've been able to gather the MOSCODE is a bit of a question mark (some think killer deal, some say its dark) but sure looks like it could be a nice little piece https://www.audiogon.com/listings/phono-nyal-new-york-audio-labs-moscode-super-it-phono-preamp-power...and anyway its hard to go wrong with a 300B and a turntable so unless the IT turns out bad you have the makings for a pretty damn fine starter system.
What I would do first and as soon as you can is hook up the speakers you have with whatever you can scrounge up and just see how (if!) everything works.
The real strength of a 300B system is midrange magic and holographic imaging. Inner detail, in other words. If everything works you'll probably be surprised how good it sounds even with cheap little bookshelf speakers, lamp cord wire and patch cords.
Most important thing with any stereo is speaker placement. You'll never have anything easier to experiment with speaker placement than your cheap little bookshelf speakers. So move em around. Have some fun. Cobble together some kind of stands and then after you hear how hugely placement affects tonal balance, bass support, etc, how nearby walls change the sound, then use a tape measure to line them up with precise symmetry, sit back and experience the wonders of imaging.
That's it. I've seen far too many systems of expensive name brand components that sound bad, and also enough no-name rigs that sound wonderful, to think that components have all that much to do with it. Much more has to do with your ability to listen, understand, set up, and tweak.
The funny thing is that before the amp appeared I’d been upgrading and modifying my home theater system with an eye towards simplifying it, at least operationally. That was how I ended with with the B&O turntable. There certainly are better tables out there, but it still is of reasonable quality and it’s as simple as it got. It needed a little bit of mechanical adjustment and a new belt, but setup consisted solely of installing the cartridge, balancing the tonearm and setting the tracking force. No alignment issues, etc. These amps have greatly changed all of that, but not in a bad way. My backup turntable will make it’s way to my receiver, where it was before and the B&O will make the move. Who knows, once I get the amps and speakers sorted, further turntable upgrades will be in my future. But that’s another discussion entirely.
That’s all definitely great advice above. I found a nearby shop that works on vintage tube stuff that can give them a once over and I’m bringing them by tomorrow. I haven’t hooked them up yet due to the fact that I didn’t have an external phono stage with an adjustable output, just a fixed output POS Pyle mini phono stage. I didn’t want to hook anything up w/o a way to start low and work it’s way up. The MOSCODE will give me that, and I pick it up tomorrow morning.
I’ve also read similar reviews of it. Some like it, some don’t, but for the price there’s as close to zero risk financially as could be possible. There amps and the MOSCODE came from the same seller and I’m willing to bet there was a deal on speakers that I missed.
Once I verify the suspected good amp and repair the other I have a pair of bookshelf speakers I’ll start messing around with. They’re 8ohm, though the sensitivity could definitely be better (89dB). That will at least allow me to play with my new toys until something more permanent arrives.
I am with the Efficient Speaker camp. Not much to add but (1): It is generally easier to buy efficient floorstanders than bookshelves. (2) I reckon 90 db speakers should be ok. I say this because I have this amp where the front meter does not move until it outputs approximately 13 watts. I had Triangle speakers of 91 db efficiency and music above 13 watts was enough to annoy the neighbours!
Since you mention cost, HT and woodworking/DIY-
The easiest way to keep costs low and still have great sound is ignore all the conventional HT advice and stick with stereo. I worked at it very hard for a long time before finally reluctantly coming around to realize there is nothing you can do but trade sound quality for surround sound.
That one I know for certain. Speakers are more of a judgment call. Here's a thread with a lot of ideas. https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/speaker-suggestions-for-300b-set-amp
The one with the greatest/most dedicated following may be Lowther. https://www.commonsenseaudio.com/lowther.html
But honestly, in terms of budget, practicality, and availability your best bet especially at a good price is probably gonna be the good old Heresy.
The system built around the tube amps will be completely separate from the home theater. It will be in a completely different room that will likely be set up primarily for listening to records through this specific system. My main living space, where the ht is, would be terrible to add this system to.