New System for a greenhorn audiophile


I'm looking for some recommendations for a audio/home theater system.  Something simple, for good audio and home

2 speakers, a midrange and sub should suffice
and I know that this may sound impossible but it can't top $2000.00

Totally doable, and with surprisingly good results if done right. Doing it right within that budget calls for being careful to budget for everything, and not cut corners. In other words you don't get to keep the freebie rubber power cord and plastic patch cords, you buy good ones. Just ones that are good within your budget.

Also you can't afford crap like receivers. What you want is an integrated amp. You haven't mentioned sources. But you want to watch movies. The best/cheapest source for movies is download onto your laptop and connect video/audio to your RCA with adaptors.

That's what I do. Look at my system. If its good enough for me, its plenty good.

Look real close and notice the same IC is used for CD and the laptop. This is big money savings when you are on a budget. 

So now you take your $2k and budget it out for everything you need. 
Speakers, integrated amp, source, speaker cables/power cord/IC.

That's it. Four items, $2k, that's $500 each.

The $500 for wire divides into the 3 wires you need.

The source, congratulations if its a turntable, just don't forget the phono stage. At this price level can be in the table or in the integrated. Your call.

If the source is CD or streaming then okay all you need is a line stage integrated. ie not one with a phono stage.

That's it.

Everyone else will tell you which ones to buy. Then if you listen you will either spend way more than budget or wind up with really good speakers and amp connected with crap wire. Either way it won't sound nearly as good as doing it this way.

My way gives you credit for being able to figure out what will be best for you. All you need is a little guidance on how to whittle down a million options into something manageable. This is why having a budget like this is so important. Its the most important thing there is... next to going out and actually listening to the stuff!
I would try to source used equipment in order to get the best bang for the buck.
Though it will probably exceed $2K, I would suggest a pair of Vandy VLR's and a Belles Aria Integrated.
It would give you a good foundation, as well as path to future upgrades.
Don't let the small size of the speakers fool you, they can rock.
Nice!  thanks for breaking it down Miller!  Bob I will certainly check out those speakers!  

More suggestions are welcome.  I trying to get this learning curve up.

Having built a very similar system for my brother, I can tell you this system will sound very good for both music and movies.

- Aperion Audio 5B monitors and 5C center speaker - under $500
- SVS SB2000 Pro - $800
- Yamaha RXA1080 A/V Receiver - $689 at

i have a $30k 2-channel system, and I can tell you this combo sounds surprisingly good in stereo and excellent for movies. I think you’ll be pretty thrilled with what you hear. I’d recommend adding some rear speakers at some point as they take the movie involvement and enjoyment factor up significantly. I wouldn’t break the bank with wires, and Audio Envy or Cullen Cable make very good speaker cables, interconnects, power cords for not much $. Hope this helps, and best of luck.
Thanks soix it does help.  Before long I might know I’m doing with All this good suggestions.

keep e’m coming friends I’m learning a lot.

I checked out millercarbon's link to his setup.  If he got all that stuff for $2K he's a very shrewd buyer!  Seriously,  I wouldn't squander $500 for wires for a $2K budget.  14 gauge zip cord works surprisingly well for speaker leads, and you can always replace it as funds become available.  Or try Blue Jeans online.

😂  My plan is to upgrade gradually. So all these ideas are very helpful. thanks everyone!
What I’d do with a $2k budget that needs to cover both music and H/T is get a H/T receiver that has a streamer built in (since that is the source that is becoming the standard for listening - Tidal, Spotify, Qubuz, Amazon, whatever - though of course you can still also connect a CD player or other line sources or a turntable, or bluetooth connect to stream from phone), such as a Marantz 5013 that you can find new for $650 or refurb for $480. It’s a 7.2 Atmos receiver with built-in streamer and room correction and 100 wpc that sounds pretty decent for music (I know, I have the earlier version 5012 which is almost the same).

The Atmos capability (or surround sound in general) will leave the door open for future H/T upgrades if/when you want to add more speakers (as the receiver will support them with amplification and decode), but at your current budget I’d start with a 2.1 system (meaning left and right speaker, and sub). Later, if you want, you can add a center channel speaker, rear surrounds, or even Atmos height channel speakers if you like (or go with a simpler Dolby surround 7 channel speaker setup - the receiver will already support all of that).

Receiver at $650 leaves $1350 for everything else.

Get some good left and right speakers for music and a sub for about $1250 total - maybe $900 for the speakers and $350 for the sub, and then $100-120 total for some Blue Jeans speaker cables and a Pangea power cord for the receiver (just use the stock power cord for the sub).  For the sub cable from receiver to sub, an AmazonBasics for $10 or less should be okay.

For speakers in that price range, I’d try to find a good deal on some Kefs (which are great for both music and H/T) or maybe something in the Focal Aria lineup. For a sub, maybe SVS if they have anything in that range.

Hope that helps - good luck. That’ll be a nice sounding system for the cost.
$2K will go a lot further is you buy used.  Audiogon and Audio Mart are good places to start.  Seems to be a lot of churning in audio.  Except for Oppos and KEF LS50s, I've bought all my stuff used.