putting together a budget system

I'm looking for advice about putting together a system in which the speakers cost about $1200 and the amp system $800-$1200. i'm hesistant about getting a new cd player, with SACD or DVD on its way. for speakers, i'm considering either a pair of used vandy 2ce signatures or a pair of new B&W 604 series 2. for amps, i'm looking at Arcam's integrated 9, or possibly the Arcam pre-amp 9 and power amp 10. or maybe the NAD 317. for now i'll probably just hold on to my old NAD cd player. comments?
For speakers: Legacy Audio Accent ($1,995.00). 3 driver 2-way speaker with 2 7.5" kevlar midwoofers and a 1" titanium dome tweeter. Rated 92 dB sensitivity, frequency response 39Hz-22,000Hz +-2dB. Recommended amp watts: 25-300. dimensions 38"H x 10"W x 10"D. 45 lbs each. Check out website www.legacy-audio.com for pictures, reviews, finishes, and ordering info. Mail order only with 30 day in home audition, but increased savings makes Legacy a great value - you get more speaker for your dollar. I am a very happy Legacy owner (I own the smaller Studio minimonitor $995). I also own a pair of B&W DM602s, but I think the Legacies are more refined, dynamic, and open than the B&Ws. The treble is definitely smoother on the Legacies vs. B&Ws aluminum dome tweeter, which can be harsh and spitty at times. For amplification, check out the new Classe CAP-101 remote controlled integrated amp ($1,200 or less). Rated at 100watts at 8 ohms, it'll put out 140 watts into the Legacy Accent's 4 ohm rating. I don't own any Classe equipment, but in listening to them at area dealers, I have been very impressed with their smooth, liquid presentation. They are detailed and transparent, but are easy to listen to for extended periods. Website is www.classeaudio.com. The Legacy Accent and Classe CAP-101 would make an excellent system for around $3,000. Look on this site for used equipment to save some money, and you may end up only spending $2,400 or so. Good Luck, use your ears to decide, and post your findings here for us to see!
I would buy the Jajuar II's form www.audioc.com. I haven't heard but I think its a very promising speaker for your price range. The factory direct kit is $700 and you could have a carpentar make some nice cabinets for the $500. I own Biro L/1's at $1500+ a pair. For an integrated amp under a grand I would find an acurus DIA150 or one of thier earlier integrateds (125?). You can find them used for as little as $500 (there was actually one on todays postings). Those products all represent practical engineering without any glitz or glamour in my opinion.
hi, in the price range your looking at, i would recommend you take a look at rega.i own a rega system consisting of a mira integrated amp,[$895]ela speakers,[$1195] and planet cdp.[$795]i looked and listened to everything in this price range before purchasing.i will go on record as telling you it will hold its own or best anything at a like price.not flashy, it just makes music.rega gear also is built like a tank and should last a lifetime.this is not stereo of the month type equipment. after you are tired of changing equipment looking for the holy grail, rega will be there to sell you a system you can forget about, leaving you to enjoy your music. seriously good value. good luck. mer
Magneplanar MMG, $500 factory direct, 60 day trial period. Get a few room acoustic treatments, too, if at ALL possible. MIT Terminator 3 speaker cable from Audio Advisor, 30 day trial period.
It is almost impossible to make suggestions unless you provide info on your room, the music you listen to, what you like or want in a system (are you an analytical listener or do you prefer to melt into your music, do you require a remote, etc.). Also- try to audition as many products as you can. It would be helpful if you could post again (on this forum or others like www.audioasylum.com) with info like: I like Classical music, and was impressed by Paradigm speakers- as opposed to, say NHT... I will use this for 80% music, 20% HT... All of the otherposted listed excellent bang-for -the-buck choices, but they arent really applicable unless we know more details about waht you are looking for. In general I would advise you to: 1. Amps/Pre buy separates if at all possible. This allows for more flexibility 2. Speakers - stay away fromthe mass market & try for small, higher quality manufactureers. They often hve the best support, and always (at this price) have the best components for your money. Check out www.aci.com www.norh.com www.newformresearch.com www.hsuresearch.com(subs) These companies also have lots of info on their sites to educate you about all sorts of audio issues. In general you will discover that small companies like this invest a lot more of your purchase dollars into components (actual product you receive) as opposed to marketing. The drawback, is that you cannot listen to these actual speakers, but yu can listen to "similar products" in the mass market, although you may feel strange, because they will be in $6k speakers. (I personally am awaiting a pair of nOrh 9.0's). 3. Cable - reserve about $200-$300 (10-15% system cost) for cables. DO NOT SPEND MORE THAN THIS intially- you will be tempted to- cables can be damn expensive. Personally, I got a little too into just gettign good cables foreverything, then realized that with some ofthat extra $$ I could have gotten a better CDP. I really think a better component makes more of a difference than an extra $$ cable. Initially buy 12 gague OFC copper (30C foot) for speakers &cheap IC. Then , once you have everythign else set up, experiment with cables in your price range to find the most synergistic combination. Once everything else is set up & burned in, and you switch from crap wire to realcables you WILL notice a difference. If not, just return the cables & keep your $$. I know that if you actually do this, you will hear a difference, and then will have $2-300 to play around with cables to tune yoursystem the way you like it. 4. Incidentals. - Budget ahead for great tweaks that don;t cost much (but can add up). Anticipate getting 3 vibrapodsfor your CDP ($20 total). May not soudn better, but will sound different (usually better). If you don;t like, try under your VCR. Optrex - this is a CD cleaning solution I use. A bottle costs $17, and sprays 200 CD's. Thespray lasts about a year, and really improves sound IMO. Some disagree, but it's worth a $17 gamble IMO 'cause I can attest its great. Get a $125 power conditioner. Monster HTS-2000 (if you have video) or lesser model. It's notthe best, but it is avery good use of $125. Some audiophiles poorly ratethem , but it's only compared to much more expensive products. Many (myself included) think they work wonders on our HT & Audio set-ups. You can e-mail me if you want more info, I'm tired of typing. Dan G. (dango@rcn.com)
Hi Tom; Vandersteen 2Ces are excellent with a broad range of music, and they are pretty forgiving of source. But as your source gets better the 2Ces will also sound better. I've owned 2 pairs of 2Ces, 3As, and 3A sigs. The 2Ces will sound good with anything from good receivers to integrateds (such as you are considering) or good amps/pre-amps. Happy Hunting! Craig
I'd go with Arcam over NAD, and JoLida over both. The Vandys are a great speaker.
Conrad Johnson CaV-50 integrated, Cabasse Farella 400 for a "bit" more $$ VAc Avatar-Legacy Classic....i guarantee you'll %*^(%%& your pants!!!!
Listen to the Meadowlark Kestrel Hotrods. There is no speaker close in the price range.