Neophite needing advice

Hi - I am looking to buy a new music system (a CD player, an integrated amplifier, a tuner, and good bookshelf speakers), but have very little experience with the equipment part of the project - could anyone recommend a setup for up to $1500 to produce a good sound? I mostly listen to classical music and jazz. Thanks a lot.
Linn "Classic" is integrated amp + CD player in ONE unit. And VERY GOOD one (check the latest issue of Stereophile). For the speakers, check for the used "Sekrit"( $250 Audiogon, Linn) also Linn, it is designed as a wall speaker, but many are using Sekrit, as a main speaker (What HiFi) because they are so good! (better than Tukanv IMO)For the rest you can get the used tube AM/fm on the E-bay for $200, plus some cables to get you started! Good Luck!
CORRECTION! CORRECTION! Classic is a "Reciever" that has AM/FM! Better for you, "three birds killed with one stone"!
Check out this website for a few ideas, and good luck. Charlie....
Eldragon: Do you think that the Sekrit could be hung (like a painting) as opposed to being flush mounted? It's an interesting system that you have recommended, very B&O-ish. I am looking at a 12 watt pseudo SET by Audion that the speakers may work well with in our spare room (90db @ 1 watt). It would depend on how the amp handles a 4 ohm load. I have decided to spend more on the amp than originally planned and a break on the speakers would do the trick of making it happen quicker. Some of the Linn stuff is pretty good IMO. I also like the concept of an invisible sound source and do not enjoy looking at equipment and speakers as others do.
Eldragon: PS: Chester Himes detective novel series, ever read any? I am going to try and locate them on Bibiofind. I found out about them in American Heritage magazine.
They are versatile, and yes you can do that too, but also you can use them as a minimonitors on the stand! I thought Tukan's were their (linn)best low cost, till i heard Sekrits! they are "sweet" and as detailed as Epos 12, without trace of any coloration! I am confindent to say, for the money, probably best sounding speakers you can buy!On- Wall speakers, who would ever thought? Regarding Himes, i haven't! Although i would recommend "Pulp" Charles Bukowski (i would like to hear your comments on this detective novel)and the "Chump change" Dan Fante, it isn;t detective novel, but "cuts" like a rasor! Dekay, did you ever watch the "Singing detective" miniseries about 10 years ago, i think on HBO?
Eldragon: Thanks again for the info on Linn. I looked at the speakers a month ago on their web site and totally disregarded them at the time. I have a Linn dealer that is an hour from here (that's 10 miles in LA) and they are on the way to another shop that carries Renaud which is also on my list. I would also like to listen to the Tukan replacement that they were breaking in last week. I have not read any of the novels and will check the library. We just got cable a couple of years ago and do not have any premium channels, so, no on the series. We did watch "Tokyo Elevator Girls" and a Japanese detective series on local broadcast in the early 90's. Both were without English subtitles and I do not speak Japanese. This just goes to show you how simple I am. I just finished a crime mystery novel by a Swiss author (translated to English) that was super. Can't think of the name right now.
NAD C340 or Creek 4330 Integrated Amp.; Cambridge Audio D500 CD Player; B&W DM602-S2 Speakers; Used Onkyo Integra Tuner
I would use most of the amount for a set of good speakers - fx. Sonus Faber Concerto which is a very musical speaker with Jazz and Classical music! In my opinion the Linn stuff ist mostly overpriced - and I would say that you can have better equipment for the price... I would recommend a Denon solution with a really good amp called PMA-1500R, the cd-player DCD-1450 and tuner TU-255. Here you have a system that's within your price range and will beat most of the competition...
NAD, Creek, Denon? You must be kidding?
Dekay, I use Linn Sekrits as my main speakers (with Majik) and they are delightful. I have not directly A/B'd them with Tukans but I think they are more transparent and have more bass. Linn's website lists an in-wall Sekrit. Mine are not in-wall. I have them on stands (they need dedicated stands from Linn), but they come ready for wall hanging. You could hang them from a sturdy picture hook, but Linn sells a special bracket for them. Very unorthodox looking speaker -- only 5" deep and has a polymer cabinet -- the sound would surprise the heck out of you. This site has a pair for $295. That is ridiculously low; it is a good couple leagues higher in capability than the quality, value-oriented bookshelfers that occupy this price point. I think the pair for sale are white (mine are black), but you can paint'em anything you want (yes, they are unorthodox).
All used...Audio Refinement Complete, Magnepan MMG's, Rega Planet or DVD player, Carver Tuner off Ebay, Homegrown Audio Interconnects, and Maplehade Golden Helix speaker cable. This setup will run in the $1500 range and I have listened to one with a Panasonic DVD A310 as the digital source and it was quite pleasing. I personally use a similar system with a Linn CD player and it is quite nice. The Classik setup that Eldragon suggests is also very nice, but might limit your development of your system. If you want something compact and do not intend to upgrade, then the Linn Classik is for you. You could match it up to any number of speakers. The Tukan and Sekrit are the logical Linn Choices. could swap out the Audio Refinement Complete for a Linn Majik..I personally like the Complete...and also check out the latest Stereophile review of the Linn Classik.
Thanks for the additional push Jayboard. White would be perfect, the room has white "ragged" walls. Yes, the LF specs are lower than that of the Tukan. I could not use the Tukans in our living room (L shaped room) because of unruly bass. But this was a fault of the room and not the speakers. I do not know what the retail is but will find out when I listen to them. I have purchsed my other system mail order and used but have included new gear in the budget for the second system. The local shops have good trade in and upgrade policies and I do not like to ship gear when I sell it. The KLH Model 21 radio that I sold on Ebay arrived damaged to the new owner, and I packed it with everthing short of embryonic fluid. I paid for the repairs instead of waiting on a UPS claim.
I agree with Sugarbrie's picks, and they are all readily available used, saving you a fair bit of cash. Funny how people, once swung over to Linn, remain Linnies for life. Nothing wrong with Linn, just never did it for me. Jeff
Wrong, wrong...i am owner of SOME,of the Linn "gear", i believe that they offer, one the best balanced (neutrality-musicality) audio gear on the market! And NAD, Creek,...aren't even in the same league, even with the "cheapest" Linn line! Tip for you: MiracleEar, offers free ear check-up, just before you spend some more money on your next audio purchase!
jeff, i got my 1st linn preamp ~4 years ago, & i really *did* like it. but after trying tube-stuff, no way isle ever go back to linn for my main rig. trick is to find a tubed preamp that still has accuracy, transparancy & detail of the linn. i found that the cary slp98 & the melos music director *both* equal the linn at what it does well, & are a *lot* better w/soundstage depth. i tink the preamp is the key to a system. one person's opinion... doug
Go with a Stan Warren modified CD player for your front end. Stan can provide more musicality from budget digital. His mods will have you wondering why everyone plows so much money into typical "high end" gear. Start with Stan, and in time, you will be avoiding the dreadly "I've got some more money, time to upgrade game". It took me ten years of " upgrade fever" to find Stan .He is one of the most down to earth, genuine and talented circuit designers around. His mods and advice will give you more bang for the buck than anyone else I have ever known in the audiophile circles. You may call him directly at 541-344-3696 12-6 p.m. pacific coast time. (Please keep my E-mail address. As you progress in this hobby, my advice will probably end up saving you thousands of dollars! In ten years you can send me a small portion of this savings ...ha!)
Ehider...there isn't a reason not to believe you! Does Stan have a web-site? What kind of player he modifies? Thanks!
Remember, this guy said $1500. Most of these suggestions are over $2,000 for decent used and he hasn't even gotten cables and interconnets yet, or a decent power strip.
Castle Acoustics - Richmond speakers ($500.00). NAD 740 receiver ($500.00). Cambridge 300 CD player ($300.00). Mapleshade IC's and speaker cables ($153.00). Prices are retail, if you can do better upgrade the Cambridge to the 500 model which is $100.00 more. Also, if you can do without radio I would suggest the following. Renaud Twinn II speakers ($750.00). Cambridge 300 CD player ($300.00). Cambridge A300 integrated amp ($250.00). Mapleshade IC's and speaker cable ($153.00). Everything should be available by mail order.
If by clasical and jaz you mean smaller chamber type ensembles then you may want to try the Triangle Titus (500) with the Jolida 202A IA ($750). This'll squeez you for a CD player and tuner, but you'll get loads and loads of detail and warmth from trumpets, saxes, violins, snares, and cymbals. Bass will suffer, however, so if you primarily listen to big orchestral performance then I'd skip this. BTW, Saturday Audio seems to be selling the 750 (the 740 which I believe it replaced is recommended above) for $420. Also the two above mentioned pieces are currently being listed for $400-demo and $475-used respectively on Audiogon which may help you fit into better sources.
An Audiolab 8000S on closeout from Artech Electronics at $439 for a demo or $549 brand new (I use an old 8000A with a Cardas Golden power cord on it and it's outstanding). An RCA 5223P DVD player (last year's model-I have no idea what current RCA's sound like and it appears they've changed the DAC's)-I can't explain this, but it's a killer CD player-I sold an Arcam Alpha 8SE which lists out at over $1000 because the RCA easily outperforms it, and plays movies too. The 5223 is available on-line from Etronics for $179! I'd probably budget in about $125 for the lower priced Monster power conditioner-don't know the model #-for the DVD player as I found out (just today) it responds very well to power conditioning-plug your amp straight into the wall. Another $200-$250 for interconnect and cables-maybe some used Kimber 8TC (I am currently using the 8TC), perhaps the Homegrown silver interconnects at $70 or Pure Silver Sound for $139 (I use a half metre of Silver Audio Bullet 6.0's purchased used for $150 here on Audiogon). This leaves you about $500 left over for tuner, speakers and tweaks-I'd definitely buy some Vibrapods and Auric Illuminator!. Kind of complicated compared to purchasing the Linn Classic. It would be interesting to compare the system approach directly to the Classic.
It would not be unreasonable to devote half your budget to speakers, since you'll get the most dramatic improvement as you move up in price. Tuners can vary a lot too, and are very sensitive to location, so be sure to test at home. Forgive me for making a non-audiophile suggestion, but in your price range I wouldn't rule out a receiver. I know all the arguments against, but you could save a couple of hundred over a separate amp and tuner, and that'll buy you better speakers that may more than make up for anything you sacrifice in electronics. Also, on your initial budget I'd stay away from name-brand cables. Get your basic system up and running first, then you can have some fun with upgrades later.
I made it out to my LInn dealer and discovered that the Sekrit on the wall speakers have been disco'd. I was unable to audition them. Just the flush mount version is still available, which does not interest me due to many in wall water leaks over the years. I heard the new replacement for the Tukan but will have to go back as it was not yet broken in. All that I can say is that it has more controlled bass than the Tukan. KSISKOZ, I forgot to include speakers stands into the above systems (which are a must), so add $100.00. Let us know what you get and how it works out (even if you go cheaper). The next best thing to actualy buying something for our own systems is hearing about someome else buying something for theirs. Plus it is a good reference/record for someone else starting out in your same budget range.