The sales dude is pushing you towards a home theater set up.Is that the route you want to go?If you want a really nice music only system,use your current system for the TV.Then find some speakers you love for a music only system.Then choose the amp that can drive them properly.
Once you choose the speakers many folks here can give advice on a good amp or integrated that would be a good match from their experience.Do a lot of research yourself on the internet.
IMO smaller speakers and a sub are easier to position than most large floor standers for best quality sound.I listen mostly to rock and blues also,love Jack White and Pink Floyd!
For 3K budget , I would look at a great pair of stand mounted speakers...maybe Epos or Paradigm or Totem,Dynaudio, with a sub a Rel B3. And find a well reviewed Integrated Amp to drive the speakers.Used gear for all of this might get you under 3K. I would look at a Tube based Integrated by Cayin or Primaluna. Get a Used phono preamp..for around $300 you can get a $600 Musical surroundings phono pre on this site. This is a very important stage for Vinyl,Dont over look it and stay away from the $200 models they all sound horrible.I would go with a REGA table,most bang for the $$,something with a RB-250 or better tonearm. You will be blown away at how great this little system will sound over your old Sony reciever system. Cables should be from Kimber or Morrow audio. Call me when it's put together I'll come listen with you!
The Rega turntable is a good recommendation. I believe it is the RP-1 that sells for $450.
Music Direct and Audio Advisor are two on line stores that will also send catalogues. Music direct currently has Focal and Epos speakers on sale if any are left. Reviews from TAS and Stereophile are available.
It is difficult to make a sound recommendation without knowing more about the room size/architecture, and placement of equipment therein. Also, The interaction between amp and speakers is important.
Take your time, a well thought out 3K system can sound great.
Excellent. Thanks for the feedback. My sole purpose of this system is to play music. The room is 12.5' x 26'. Carpeted with an 8ft ceiling except where a finished duct runs through the middle. Setting it up lengthwise.
Why don't you at least mention the state you live in. You may be surprised to find more than one dealer within a few hours with help from the Agon members.
I'm in Richmond, VA. I don't have a lot of time to do much traveling.
I'd take a little trip to the DC area and check out the dealers there. I'm assuming you prefer floorstanders vs. bookshelf spks. Paradigm has exc. spks. current and former models which would serve you well. (PSB's as well.) I'd personally get a really nice int. amp. The Marantz PM6004 is now $499 new. Get a nice Marantz CD player as well for under 1k new. That would leave enough for TT (Rega would be a good choice) and you have the option of getting a seperate phono pre-amp if the Marantz's built in phono doesn't satisfy. It should be fine though. Now if you buy used, you could save even more. If you decide to go the home theatre route, an A/V receiver would work as well. There are closeouts to save you $. Probably will not sound as good as a dedicated 2 ch. system w/either int. amp/seperates. You'll need some $ for cabling as well. You should be pleased w/the sound vs. your present system. You do need to make the time. Also, going south you have the dealers in the Raleigh, NC area. Good hunting. Bill
John, How is your audio quest going?
I am not familiar with the B&W 683, have heard the 685, and have owned the Studio 20s v.4. I prefer 2-way stand mount speakers. The B&W speakers mate well with Rotel amps. I have heard the Rotel 1520 and think it a good contender at your price point. Has a phono stage, 60wpc. Has a pre out for a subwoofer, though for music I really don't think you should need one.
Is the wall behind the speakers to be the 12.5' or 26' one?
Sounds like you will need a CD player as well as a turntable. Do you own one?
Are willing to buy used? on Audiogon?
Two aspects of a system quality and character need to be considered. Quality is driven by having a correct balance and synergism between components at a certain budget. The character of a system is driven by owner preferences as to warmth and aspects of tonal balance and soundstaging that are most important. Speakers contribute the greatest to character. Speakers can only sound there best when driven by quality source components and amplification.
I would buy a integrated amp for ~1/3 of budget. A good integrated amp can serve for many years and survive upgrades to sources and speakers.
I would buy a CD player and a turntable for ~1/3 of budget. THe Rega at $450 is a good choice. Cambridge audio or Rotel make a good CD player within budget.
The remainder can be spent on speakers. and cables. There are many quality speakers on the market for ~$500. All are quality but differ greatly in character. Buying used allows one to upgrade without great expense.
Buy cables used on audiogon or Ebay. I would buy Canare 4s11 speaker cables and terminate myself ( can buy new less than $50). I would buy audioquest sidewinder or copperhead interconnects. These cables are far superior to what is offered free with components and will not detract from the need to allocate most funds to other components.
I think that between your local dealer and the on line market place you should end up with a very satisfactory system.
Hope my thoughts help. Keep us posted on your venture.
Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. I have yet to buy anything. I'm still trying to figure out what I want. I will be traveling north soo, so I hope to check out some other shops. I'm definitely willing to buy used, although it is a little intimidating.
I will probably get the Project Carbon debut tt. The rest is still up in the air. Here are more recent suggestions that seem to fit my budget and my musical tastes for what I am looking for:
A couple options I'm considering: Peachtree Audio Decco vs Nova 125. I think i can get by with the Decco because I will rarely have the opportunity to really crank it up.
Other suggestions have been Marantz PM8004, but I think that is out of my price range. NAD seems to be suggested frequently
I keep hearing very mixed reviews about Golden Ear Trinton 2 and Trinton 7. I'd like to check these out.
PSB T6 were recommended based on my tastes, as were the Monitor Audio Silver RX6
John , Audio Art located 3656 Hermitage Road , Richmond VA 23227 is a good audio dealer and in your area.
Timo, thank you for the lead. Going to check em out today
No way Jose to little stand mount speakers. They can't handle amplified rock, period. You can use a sub, but in my experience they never mesh 100 percent. You have a pretty big room, so why not floorstanders?
Look at the JBL Studio L890s. Better than those B&Ws, imo. I used to use them before I upgraded, and they served me well for 5 years. You can get them for under $1000 all day long.
As far as amps go, the Rotel is cool, but if you can swing say, Bryston, go for that. Those little integrateds aren't gonna do the job for rock music.
Thanks Dave for the advice. I'm definitely looking for floorstanders at this point. What can I expect tog et out of the Bryston that I won't get from the Rotel? Just power or what else?
I owned both a Rotel RA 1062 and a Bryston B60sst. The price differnce is definatley worth it. The Rotel is a very good mid-fi integrated. The Bryston is more refined, has better dynamics, has a 20 year warranty... Both amps work well with B&W speakers.
You're welcome! That's cool. Basically what Mik971 said. Plus you'll get more dynamics and transparency, imo. However, Bryston is not for everyone. Some say it's too detailed and analytical. Anyway, use your ears and hear for yourself.
I recently demoed the 683 and 684. Honestly, I liked the 684 better, for $500 less. The 3 way implementation just seemed disjointed. The 2 way was much more integrated. This was for a home theater and music setup and we paired the 684 with a NAD T 757 and I liked the sound a lot. A NAD stereo integrated would make a nice match, however this setup was for classical, folk, jazz, not rock. PSB and Paradigm are other contenders in this price range.
Personally, I stay away from Rotel. I find them forward and bright. But, that might be what you want for rock. I just find them fatiguing.
The NAD C356 (or C375) includes a DAC and USB input so it would be easy to also do computer music, but it does not have a phone input. You can also add a phono input, but I am not sure of the details. Spearit Sound sells new and refurbished NAD amps online.
I also like the Naim Nat 5-i2 (or its replacement), but it is more money and does not have phono or DAC. But it is a great integrated for the price. I have used it with Totem, but not with the other speakers you mention.
Both the Nad and Naim will be less "analytical" than the Bryston. That is all about your tastes.
Personally, I would start with simple interconnects/speaker wires and add those on over time.
Good luck! Building this system is hard work but also fun.
If you are still looking and willing to travel to the DC area then check out Gifted Listener Audio in Centreville.
Great shop and great owner. He carries several of the brands mentioned including Rega and Marantz. The shop is focused on music first and should be able to demo a number of options. The shop always has Rega and Linn turntables on display.
I think he recently started carrying Vandersteen speakers. I think those would do the job on rock!
Listened to a classe cap 151 today with a project xpression iii and vandersteen 1c. Sounded awesome. I'm wondering what I would hear differently between the project xpression and the debut?