Need Help


I am new to the Audio world and need advice as I am as confused as ever.  I am wanting an all in one receiver that I can listen to my downloaded / streamed music / turntable and one that will hook into my TV.  I will be running 2 tower speakers and a Sub.  I have set myself a budget of $3000.00 and I am very open to the used market and to be honest I like some of the vintage stuff anyway.  I know that my budget is low and probably insulting to some but its what I have at the time and I plan on adding / up grading as I go. I love the looks of the Marantz, Adcom and Cambridge as far as receivers.  The speakers I am lost as there are so many to choose from.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all.

kdogone
Hey, don’t think you are special. I have been ion this site for 20 years and in the hobby since the 1960s and I’m still confused as hell.

That said, your budget is great and should get you a marvelous piece of specialist gear. I would recommend the Naim Uniti Atom, and a phono preamp from Lehmann or Creek, but there are a number of excellent choices out there. I think you are going to get exactly what you want.
Since you are starting out, and don't know what speaker you like, I would recommend going to as many dealers as you can.
Just listen. Eventually, you'll find a speaker that 'sounds right' to your ears. Don't be afraid to audition above your budget. It just lets you see what can be done in a 'perfect' world.
The knowledge you gain will be something you can use for the rest of your life.
Once you have decided what speakers you want, then focus on the integrated amp and sources. Though after all this, I think you'll be looking at separates.-Hifi can be alot like Mr. Blanding's Dream House.
Just my 2 or 3 cents...
Bob
With today’s tech, take a peak at the Simaudio Ace, for a lot less you could go with the Pioneer Elite SX-S30.
I have no idea what speakers you’re wanting to push. 50 watts @ 8 ohms would suffice with 150 watt 8 ohm speakers.
$3000 budget for all 3 things (speakers, sub, and receiver), or $3000 for just the receiver?
$3k is not low at all. I've installed complete high end systems for some very satisfied customers that were $1200 to $2500. Complete systems. Complete means source, amp, speakers, interconnects, speaker cables, power cords, and Cones. That's the key: complete. Things like power cords and speaker cables are not accessories. They are every bit as essential components as the amp and speakers. You need to include them in your budget.

Right now you're confused because the options seem endless with no clear way of figuring it all out. In reality there is a very clear and systematic way and it is proven to work.

First you go and listen to everything in your price range. A $3k budget works out, in round numbers, to about $1k each for amp, speakers, and wire. Listen to everything you can find in this range. Wire breaks down to interconnects, speaker cables, power cords. How many of each depends on your choice of amp. Either way you can see already we have narrowed infinity down to a manageable range to audition.

Now in the process of listening I can just about guarantee you will decide you do not want a receiver after all. There simply are no receivers made that will give you the sound quality of a similarly priced integrated amp. Listening is a learning experience and that is one of the first things you will learn.

The next is you get a lot more for the money with two good speakers than two plus a sub. Don't ask why the world is pushing subs on you if that's the case, just listen and hear for yourself. 

Ditto interconnects, power cords, speaker cables. With $1k total for all you are looking at $200-300 for each. Don't even consider any component that won't accept a power cord. That's not their way of saving you money. That's their way of telling you they just aren't serious about sound quality.

Notice all this is based on what you hear. Only way to go. Notice I am recommending a process only and not any particular piece of gear. Buying based on looks or specs or advice or anything else is setting yourself up to fail. So get off the internet, get out there, and listen.

Woah, woah, woah, @millercarbon, spending $1K on interconnects for a $3000 system? If so, those priorities are so messed up. 
 
Speakers should never be less than 1/2 the total budget (unless buying used). 
 
@kdogone, assuming $3000 is total, I would get bookshelves instead of towers, the subwoofer’s whole purpose is to handle the bass notes, so why not get an excellent bookshelf for the same price as a good tower?  
 
Keeping with what you want though: 
 
* Chane A5.4 towers, around $925 shipped (or more for faster shipping); search online, nothing but praise for Chane, and measurements to back it up.  
* Rythmik L12 for a small room, Rythmik LV12F or HSU VT2- MK5 for a large room, between $525-$675 shipped. Don’t be mislead, ported subs from these companies are very “musical”, more so than sealed subs from a few other brands. 
 
Leaving around $1500. Now, don’t believe what you read online, Denon and Marantz, at least now, are near identical, some minor sound/performance difference, but a Denon is more similar sounding to a Marantz than any other brand. 

I would get the Denon X3500H factory refurb for $800 ($1000 new). 
 
You’ll want to run Audyssey, but also pay the $20 for their app to edit the default curve, you’ll want to turn off Midrange compensation, and change the target curve from a mostly flat line to a slope down one, a starting point is 20Hz being 10dB louder than 20kHz; here’s an older Harman target curve, and it’s free to tweak to your liking. Most dislike you find online for Audyssey (which is not abundant) is because the default curve is not good, and this helps fix that. 
 
With the savings, you could go dual subs, or add it into room treatment. 
 
If you want cables that are a decent setup up from generic but aren’t flashy, Blue Jeans is always good. I would personally look at Ghent Audio for all cables, downside is wait time (2-3 weeks, as all are handmade and made to order, you can do customs lengths too, like 6ft 3in instead of just 6ft) and they usually use Canare, Belden, etc. all well respected and well measuring cable wire companies. I would not spend a lot on the subwoofer cable though.
Agree with others above about going out and listening to as many different speakers as you can, and absolutely bring a variety your own music you like to listen to.  The more speakers you listen to, the more you'll start to zero in on the things that are important to you and what you value most.  Once you find them, then you can focus on an AVR that can drive them appropriately.  Go have fun!
I will give a dissenting view. I always pick the amp first and then the speakers. Amps tend to have electronic sounding distortions, speakers not so much.

 IMHO, there are many great speakers at reasonable prices, but not many amps. There is no right and wrong here, just different ways to approach the process.
Thank you all for the advice!
Quick thoughts!
B&W 600 series 
or
Klipsch Heresy?
They are about the same price.  I do like to rock out from time to time, but I Love love the Blues.

Any thoughts on the Fluance brand?
Sounds like you went to Magnolia at Best Buy?  Branch out if you can and go to some boutique shops that carry more specialty brands.  I'm not personally a B&W fan, but their latest offerings seem to have made some meaningful improvements, especially to their drivers.  But I could easily name 10 makes I'd choose over B&W, so if you can go out and hear some brands like Vandersteen, ProAc, Joseph Audio, Nola, etc. you'll have a much better perspective than choosing between just B&W and Klipsch.  The audio world has MUCH more to offer than just those two brands. 

Thank you for your perspective.

I did not however go to Magnolia and yes I understand that the Audio world offers so much more.  With that being said I live in a small town and my options are limited and to what my high end store offers.

McIntosh, B& W, Yamaha and yes Klipsch.


I am trying to find what's  the best option for a beginner with a Budget of

$3000.00

I was hoping to do the following.

$1000-2000 on a good set of speakers

$1000 on a all in one receiver/amp

Maybe I could save some money on either of the 2 and use the rest to get quality Speaker cables???

Ah. Got it. Sorry man, that’s not easy. However, the more info you give us here, the better info you'll get back.  But, the good news is you have a whole community here willing to help. And I the end, you WILL succeed. But, and this is crucial, what you get back from here in terms of advice is totally and completely based on the accuracy and level of info you give us here. Kinda like the more info you give ur doctor, the better diagnosis u gonna get. So, in that vein, I have a few questions:

- Your budget is not low. You can get some awesome performance at the $3k level. From what you’ve said, you’ve got $3k to spend on an AVR and speakers. So I assume you either have, or have extra budget for or already have, a turntable and subwoofer, no?
- What aspects of sound reproduction are most important to you?  Dynamic slam, 3D imaging, tonal richness, etc.?
- BIG question you haven’t answered here, what is your % and/or level of importance between stereo and home theater?
- Try to forget about looks. If u care about being amazed by what you hear, it may very well not be about what looks best.

I’ll get back after you answer these these important questions.
@viridian -- Stop it!  The speaker world does not start and end with Klipsch.  There's ATC, PMC, and many others that are well worth searching out. 
I’m sorry. Contrition. And ATC and PMC are two marques that go supremely well with the Naim kit that I recommended.

On the other hand I never recommend speakers with names that are acronyms. It’s the curse of death.

Sorry about the late reply, I have been out of pocket.

I am a novice and to be honest I cant answer some of the questions above.  I can tell you that I don't watch a ton of movies but the wife and I do enjoy one from time to time.

I can tell you that I do like to listen to my music on a daily basis and to be honest with you I like it loud,  my main music is the blues and rock and roll.  As I am getting older I am really liking some jazz and alot of acoustical music.  No rap or Hip hop for this Guy!  I have an amazing collection of albums that was left to me by my late sister ( close to 1200 albums ) and I want to add a turn table at some point. 

I hope that some of the above information will help anyone that can give me some advice in this crazy audio world. 

Thank you all in advance for any info that you can help me with.

Well, here are a couple "you can't go wrong" options, or, put another way, I'm confident you'll be impressed with the sound.  Whether it will be optimal for your specific tastes is another question entirely and one that will take MUCH more time and effort on your part to figure out.  To most of us here that's the fun part, but if you just want something very good for the money and just want to get the party started, you could do far worse than these:

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/SRT/srt.html

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Anthem-MRX-520-Refurbished-A-V-Receiver-MRX-Series/223460479615?_trkparms=a...

Read ad the reviews on the speakers.  I think they offer an in-home trial.  The AVR is a cut above most mass market receivers, and they've also proven to be one of the more reliable brands (something many others cannot claim).  Anyway, if nothing else maybe this is a good place to start.  Best of luck on your quest!