I like the table radios that Cambridge Soundworks makes. Here is an all in one system, which includes a DVD player. Xmas special for $250. Cambridge Soundworks 765 .
I just helped my father set up a small system in his new apartment and am familiar with some of the better product choices in this category. You can put together a system that sounds good to very good including a subwoofer for between $1200 and around five grand US, depending on how much detail you want to retrieve.
The electronics and speakers already listed above are excellent choices. I really like the Totem Arros if you have the room for an extremely slight tower speaker. To the electronics listed I would add two NAD products, a Music Hall product (all at lower cost points, but pretty good for what they are), and a relatively new Naim system.
Even the Linn or Naim are not going to drive high end speakers to their full capability - so I suggest a range of modest bookshelf speakers and subwoofers below that will produce pleasing music, but also be forgiving of the electronics driving them. All the speakers listed below have furniture level cabinetry in addition to quality sound. Try out different speakers at the showroom to see what you like, you may decide to go higher than these to personal taste.
Don't forget decent speaker cables and an after market power cord. The power cord will be particularly important as the smaller power supply in these all-in-one units are somewhat hand-to-mouth, and benefit from a big hose to the wall socket. What you save on interconnects and additional power cords needed for a larger multi-box system you can invest in better gear, the wires you do need, or music and movies to play on your new system.
Some electronics to consider:
Music Hall Trio (no DVD but sounds very sweet)
NAD VISO-FIVE (award winner)
NAD C-717 Micro (very small)
Naim n-Vi (pronounce "ENVY", most grunt in the group)
and a few bookshelf speaker choices:
Aperion Audio bookshelf speakers (well rounded bargains)
B&W CM-1 (beautiful midrange and treble)
Epos M5i (new, nice)
Era Designs 4 (beautiful cabinet, smooth sound)
Era Designs Flat Panel Series (different)
Focal Chorus 806V (very efficient and live sounding)
Monitor Audio Radius 90 (tiny)
Monitor Audio Bronze 1 (good bargain)
Totem Acoustic Rainmaker (wide dispersion, lively)
Usher S-520 (get it on at an affordable price)
and some subwoofers:
Aperion Audio Bravus 8D
Totem Acoustic Storm
wow, great work guys, this is alot to consider. i have owned the totem arro and believe it is one of the best small floorstander i have ever heard. i used it with krell and naim with great success.....i did not realize naim had a all in one unit, which i understand market wise is a great move for them....love the looks of the naim unit ,great name for the naim...like the linn also , i have used the classic and movie di...with lots of success....all these are excellent choices.....i also like the looks of the nad units...and have heard the era stuff which i found to be excellent in clarity.....it is so good to have all this available....the area i am trying to consider using is 10x11 room with coffee table ,sofa and one chair...with lcd on wall...but the lcd is 26in. a good size for the space...i know the sub is necessary for lower volumes that i will be using...also the headphone thing is a good answer when alone..but boy you can't beat speaker fronts for listening to music can you ?....GOOD WORK GUYS...alot to consider...please, everyone ,don't stop, all will be considered and will be purchasing soon, but will wait until after jan.1 for purchase...all this stuff looks good, i am a eye candy guy as well as sound clarity..thanks dwhitt
I set up a system in my bedroom that included Celestion SL-700s placed close to the front wall and a wall mounted TV. The SL-700s do everything except deep bass, are small and mounted on intergral stands, and look good to boot. A decent DVD player will sound good playing standard CDs. You only have to get an integrated amp, and you are done. Since you like NAD gear, an NAD DVD player and integrated amp would look good together and match the SL-700s esthetics.
I was steering you towards one box solutions. If you are interested in two box systems based on an Oppo disk player, that is a whole other deal.
If you are interested in a receiver/Oppo DV-983H system with AM/FM and subwoofer out - look at these:
Cambridge Audio Azur 540R
Music Hall Audio Maven
Outlaw Audio 2150
Any of these receivers paired with Oppo's best player would make a righteous combo. With the power provided by the Music Hall and the Outlaw, you could easily drive some greedier speakers. In addition to the B&W CM-1 and the Era Design 4 listed above, I might suggest the Dynaudio Focus 110 as well.
One last suggestion:
a Peachtree Audio Decco or Nova + Oppo 981H set up with digital sound out to the Decco and using the Oppo's very good onboard video processor to your monitor. No AM/FM, but onboard DAC, 50-80W amp, tube preamp, and nice sound for between $800 and $1200 depending on finish and power output. Would drive iPod, computer and all other digital sources. Slick, Slick, Slick.
yes , lots of food for thought.....i do like the one box system thoughts, spend money on the power cord and put money saved on the interconnects into the speaker wires,etc. i want the naim, but at this point , although i have owned very expensive equipment over the last forty years, i am having to be frugal. so the little nad with effecient speakers, i like the imputs of the nad 717 and the cost effective aperion. i have a squeezebox and buddy gave me when he upgraded to the duet system and i like what it does for relaxing, but to have something with a little more dynamics and clarity with my cd collection is going to be nice. this is going to be a tough decision,but with all the good selections i can't fail...thanks to all ,dwhitt
You can save your money on a power cord for the NAD C-717 because it has a dedicated lamp cord hardwired through the chassis.
If this system really intrigues you, you also ought to look at desktop units by Onkyo and Denon, and maybe JVC. I have one of the Onkyos on my desk at work and it sounds pretty good with the stock speakers that came with it in the box. A decent set of speaker wires and a little silclear or similar contact enhancer on the AC plug and you are in business. My Onkyo is CD only, but I seem to recall the DVD units sounded at least as good.
With that said, 20W of budget class D amplification gets the leading edges and sounds "speedy" and lively, but lacks some in terms of body and warmth. Given your audio history, you may want to look at one the larger NAD all-in-ones. Audio Advisor has the NAD-L73 DVD/CD Surround Receiver on sale for about $500 right now - $200 less than it's 2 channel sister unit the L54. I have heard this system driving Era Designs and B&W CM-1's and it sounded like music. An active subwoofer would still be needed to get movie effects or deepest bass passages right.
"Maven + Arro = :-)" means this would be a very good sounding combo (look at the last three symbols sideways, smiley face).
Yes, the Maven is a traditional receiver (AM/FM plus integrated amp) with a built in DAC for your iPod, computer, etc. You would have to add a digital source like an Oppo DVD player to play movies or CDs through the system. So the Maven would NOT be a one-box system.
The Naim n-Vi/Arro/Storm system would be a really great set up if you can swing it. I have found that Naim amplifiers generally work really well with Totem's column speakers. If I read your system page correctly, you already have the Arros so would only need to add the Naim and the subwoofer. There is a used Totem Storm subwoofer for sale right now on Audiogon. Or, you might just want to get the Naim to start with, and see if you feel you really need the added bass from a sub in your new space. If so, you can add one later.
thanks knownothing....and too all....knownothing,,,i don't own the arro speakers anylonger...i sold them back in the summer and now own focal . the focal is too large for my new space....so looking....i do have avast knowledge of equipment and have owned alot of equipment in the last forty years but others thoughts and knowledge from outside is always helpful...didn't know that naim had a one box unit. i heard the wall units today from era and boy do i like them...the era is very detailed....and with the decco,,,and my squeezebox and oppo ,if purchased, may make the look and sound i am looking for....the decco is sweet....my unit that i am to move into is finished this weekend and hopefully i can move on with the purchase....i believe all the ideas are helpful but only one can be used and with the boombox from logitech in my bedroom ..i will be set....i have changed my mind several time...i may opt for something that looks nicer than the oppo in a universal player...or upgrade. i have found that i am getting more into classical and jazz as these days go by and sacd may be something that i may lookinto more...what about the new bluray plaers for video and audio???????????? i could buy one of those for the player ,if seperates are used, and buy the decco and era wall units with sub....???/again food for thought...this could be my last purchase....i want to make it really look good....thanks dwhitt
Hope I am not harassing you (HA!). I was looking at the latest issue of TAS and noted an ad for an Oppo Bluray player. It looks way more polished than their other models - brushed black aluminum face plate. My question would be, how well does this player work with redbook or sacd's?
You know, the NAD VISO TWO DVD/CD Receiver looks better to me all the time - a little slicker looking than the Decco, and I think they really poored it on the internals of those rigs. No Bluray - but for 2.1 channel sound and a smaller monitor, you don't really need any higher video resolution than the component out for standard DVD.
How about this for a system:
NAD VISO TWO DVD/CD Receiver
Era Flat Panel speakers in piano gloss black
Era Sub 8 in piano gloss black?
Looks and sounds good. Compact. You are set.
knownothing, you are right about the decco looks, nothing to look at, very office looking. i know it sounds good with the era stuff since they are out of the same dist., peachtree audio, the era is the old designer of ads product in the eighties. he designed some of the best small monitors then and has come back with similar .....now.....you are right about the nad two....looks are outstanding...looks like a piece of equipment but polished up a little, like detailing a car.....the little system you suggest is well, righteous. the wall mounts with the sub are everything i would want in my space....the era monitors are very detailed, i have never has a sub that worked well with time and pace ...i used the vandersteen ,2ce sig. and his sub and he got it close with the crossovers on the am inputs. you are not writing in the forum too much, i like input from others, i have a vast knowledge of product but it always good to hear what others think and like...in fact , last year i heard the era speakers with the decco and liked the detail. the nad receiver you suggest i saw also last summer on thir site and liked it. i was looking for this system when i had my cayin tube amp, tube cd and totem arro speakers that are on my system, jazz budget system on the gon site.....it was a very small and good sounding system for what i play...i will continue to think on it,,,the hunt is fun for me....if you like quitar players,,,,listen to jeff beck's new live cd....it is on raspody site....i listen to it last night and it is one of the best quitar cds i have heard in along time,,,i am in my 60s and he has always been a great player...take care and good listening....i enjoy everyones insight and comments...thanks dwhitt..........ill take a look at the oppo blu ray....but i am mostly into listeningto music than video ,.dwhitt
For what it is worth, the latest issue of TAS just gave the VISO TWO one of their "Product of the Year" awards.
I have not had that much trouble integrating a sub with satellite speakers. I use a cheap Radio Shack digital sound meter, a couple of test disks and my ears to get the crossover setting right. Fooling around with position in the room is the most critical part for me. The smaller the front speakers and the higher the crossover setting, the closer the sub needs to be to the other speakers to achieve a coherent overall presentation. For crossover settings much above 60Hz, I find this becomes perhaps the key factor in set up.
For some information on the Oppo Bluray player (apparently not released yet), click hear and read 12/12/08 post:
As you suggest, this may be overkill if your primary focus is two channel music listening and an efficient footprint, with video and multi-channel sound capabilities a secondary concern.
the blu ray in always interesting, new tech. is always interesting....i remember when sony did the beta which blew everything away...but i stayed with the vhs and i guess that is the reason sony failed, not at having a better playback machine, they just couldn't get it to the mass. dvd and redbook is about 98 percent what i need...would like sacd but i don't buy much, too expensive.etc. thanks dwhitt
made a choice......i am able to get my hands on a arcam solo, new in box, locally in n.c. very reasonable and a pair of era wall units with sub from era... with my squeezebox and apple 26in screen and apple tv..i am set i believe. the squeezebox is going to be turned into a duet by logitech and was able to find a silver arcam solo with my white apple and it looks fine on a lower wall shelve that my buddy fixed below the screen...it all is rather slinder in looks ,arcam,apple tv, dtv rec.,sets about four feet off the floor on two mounted wall shelves with electrical plugs in wall behind the shelves and he fixed it so the shelves in on a wall looking unit so the wiring could be behind the wall, everything is clean and no wires will show....i am going to get the light wood from era, i am extremely excited to get it up and going in the next day or so.....i bought me a stressless chair and sofa for listening...so i may never leave the room....right....but thanks for all the help....i could not wait anylonger and the arcam came up from an associate reasonable , the era just blew me away when i heard the clarity and seemless sound with the sub......it was a hard choice, i really wanted the naim unit...i know what they can do...and wanted floorstanders but don't really have the room.... when all is up and running ,finished i will send pic. to all that helped me....thanks again for all the help from everyone..and knownothing, thanks for all your effort, i can tell you really enjoy the hobby and have a great understanding of equipment manufacturing co. and set up of equipment ....it was an effort for you to do the research and i appreciate it, this is what makes this site so enjoyable for the last 6 years and over 40 sells and buys by me, check my feedback, also i just may be through with the whole hobby thing with this system set up. i have been enjoying equipment since the fifties with my first marantz tube equipemnt and advent speakers, garrad turntable and teac reel to reel...then through mcintosh,ads,threshold, audioresearch,cary,cayin,linn,vandersteen,ads,totem,linn,now with squeezebox duet,apple,era,arcam...i could not have had a better experience, the one company i always wanted to own was wilson sophia speakers, but i don't think that will ever happen....and the magnapan speakers i loved but my wife did.='t care for in the living room at the time ...dwhitt
yes, i will.....the unit will be finished i 30 days and move in happens.... you have a good enough interest that you can picture this.....the room is 11 X 12....the floors are heavy carpet, short pile..., on the wall in the center, not too high, eye level is the 32in sony lcd.changed from apple..., no wires too show, behind wall...using ps socket , with separate electric circuit for all equipment...all walls are covered with block aid , a sound control in a roll. directly below the lcd on the floor is the 10in. era sub. , again plugged into a floor circuit not to be seen. beside the lcd , because the era speakers are a bit to tall, we will make sure of the alignment for visual ....i will be mounting the nad two in a closet type inset that will hold the electronics, nad,logitech duet for internet radio and an opus no. 3 hard drive for my cd collection. i have purchased four stressless chairs for viewing and listening....i have heard the set up and don't , i believe need a center channel...i will send pics when finished in about a month to 5 weeks...thanks for the interest...it will be fun and interesting with the sound barrier and simple two ch.with sub. i mostly listen to music, but the other will be fine for my viewing...dwhitt