I tried this (not with tubes) and it's tough to get small. You might consider a Linn Classik all in one system. Not the sound you're looking for, but better WAF. There is also the 47 Labs Gaincard (very small amp with gain controls), but this item alone would break your budget. I sorta gave up on the small system and just got a Rega system for my office. Portable CD players are going to have the smallest footprint. Cyrus makes some nice small stuff, but it's unavailable in the US. As I wasn't looking for tubes I didn't research that market.
I don't have any experience putting together the system you are trying to build, but a few names do come to mind.
Wright Sound amplification www.wright-sound.com.
Antique Sound Lab amplification www.divertech.com/antiquesl.html.
Loth-X loudspeakers www.lothx.com.
Small footprint CD sources, Linn, Roksan
Tube CD sources, JoLida, Ah! www.upscaleaudio.com, Heart
I have never heard any of these, but they seem to be well regarded by those who have.
The orignal Rega Planet CD is pretty small. The Linn Majik integrated is also small if you can live without tubes. Paradigm mini monitors would do really nice I think.
Mini Monitors - 335 new
Planet - 375 used
Linn Majik - 800-900 used
spend the rest on cables
One of the Jolida integrated's might be small enough. You might consider vintage tube stuff also like a Scott 222c. I have a Knight KN724 int.amp and its only 13"X 8"X4.5". It even has an phono stage. If you could find an Optimus cd-3400 portable cd player it even has digital out to run a DAC if you wanted to. Top it off with some PSB Alpha's and you'll have a chunk of change left over to spend on music. Good luck and have fun. PS the Knight is available if interested.
Linn Classik, B&& LM1 monitors, maybe a small sub under the bed?
The best thing you could do is get a David Berning MicroZOTL. It is a OTL Tube amp that is designed for bedrooms or office applications. It has a volume control, so you don't need a preamp, but it has only one set of inputs. It has a headphone jack too. The rated output of 1 watt per channel is not indicative of the levels you can get out of this amp. I use mine as my main amp in my living room that is 14x24 with a 16 foot ceiling, and I get as loud as I ever really need within reasonable limits. This amp has the sound quality of amps costing 10 times as much. You simply will not believe the sound.The kicker? It is only $750 direct from Berning. The best $750 you will ever spend. It might end up in your main system afer you hear it. You must use an efficient set of speakers(93db+).
A portable CD player with a line output will not take up much space. That said, most of them stink sonically. I am using the Radio Shack CD3400, which is one of few portables that have a decent line out, but I am feeding its linestage into the analog inputs of an unmodified Art DI/O, converting to digital and then looping back into the DI/O's digital input converting to analog at 24/96. This sounds better than using the Radio Shack's digital output into the DI/O, especially since I am using the tube warmth feature of the DI/O. I would warn that I do not think the CD3400's can be serviced any more, so if you find one, make sure it is in good shape. Only problem I have ever had with mine is the jacks are a little worn.
I bought an Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT off 'gon for $450 (retail $700). It's a sweet integrated tube 15WPC. Drives my Edge mini-monitors nicely. There's a 30WPC ASL on 'gon right now asking $400. Check out Divergent's web site for more details.
I'd suggest VTL tiny triode 25's amplifiers
If you don't mind buying used gear, you should check out the LS3/5a spekers (Rogers, Spendor, etc.) and Jadis Orchestra tube integrated amp. I have both of these in my bedroom system and they sound wonderfully sweet, particularly if you like vocal, solo instrument and chamber music. You can get a pair of used LS3/5a for around $600 and a used Jadis orchestra for around $1,200. You can then spend around $500 for a good used cd player. Good luck!!!
I can personally recommend the following components, which would fit your bill(look for them used, and you will really be in heaven at half the price I list here):
1) Jolida JD - 202 integrated amplifier($750). 40 wonderful EL34 tube watts. Upgrade the tubes and power cords for another $150 when you have the need, time, or money.
2) Cambridge D500SE CD player($480). Rich, full, not run of the mill digital sound.
3) Music Hall's new tuner($250). If you needed a tuner.
4) Triangle Titus($495). Fast, detailed, sound. More refined than anyone would expect.
5) HomeGrown Audio Super Silver Interconnects($70). Best interconnect value in our hobby?
6) Coincident CST 0.5 Speaker cable($200 for 6 ft). Another option to cables like AQ Indigo or Kimber 4TC, only more full bodied, warm, and fleshed out.
So there it is, falling right in the lower side of you range. Again, please search out these components used, they are prevalent.
ASl MG SI 15 DT latest version with bias meter, externally adjustable bias, SET
(Single Ended Triode) 5 watts triode, 15 watts pentode all class A, for $749.
Triangle Titus 202 90db monitors. $459.
Sony SACD CE 775 $199.00 (kinda big footprint)
Burn it in for 100hours, change the preamp tubes to NOS-$100.
I have this system, at 5 watts triode with vocals, jazz and small ensembles, it is filling my living room condo (vaulted ceiling) with very good sound.
Music Reference RM-10 Tube Amp has a small footprint and sounds wonderfull.Used in $700 range.
CD player Cambridge 500se $450 retail $300ish used
Titus XS $500 retail $390ish used
good speaker stands $200 retail or less buy new
Consonance tube integrated$1500 retail $1100ish used
balance on cables/music
I am familiar with all these and this would be a kick booty system. Stack amp on CD player to save space.
I think the consonace though not that well known is (as the cambridge and Titus) one of the best values in high-end audio today.
Consonance makes a number of units with choices of tube configuration. I like the EL34 (40watt) version best but you may want something else. Unit is $1795 with remote.
you can see the line at one of the agon dealers at:
Now if you don't have to have tube or a remote I am using the Bluenote Steroid 1(Italian made by Industrie Audio VOX) 30w integrated $600 retail which has a superb synergy with Titus (which I also have). This amp, though not fancy, has it where it counts, and I like as well as stuff in the 1500 to 2000 range. I understand that they now have a remote version but I haven't heard it and it is several hundred dollars more. Don't get turned off by the looks it will be the one of the best purchases you will ever make. http://www.bluenote.it/ - very smooth, warm, detailed, great wide soundstage.
If you went the Blue Note route you will have a lot left over for cables and music and you will be really happy.
good luck feel free to contact me if you want to talk further.
This has been brought up before, but what about the small "DJ" CD players (cute little things that are usually approx. 8" x 8")? Think they start @ about $180 or so. Has anyone tried these?
For the amp itself, I would go single ended. The Audion Sterling (basic model) with one input and a volume pot runs around $1200 (new). It has a narrow profile (half or less of standard width) and is very nice looking in chrome and black and/or stainless and black (the gold finish is not to my taste). It uses a single EL34 on each side with a 6922 input and 5687 driver tube. I owned an Audion Silver Night (same chassis but uses 300B output tubes) and my wife loved the looks. You can also use other output tubes (quite a few others) with the Sterling if you feel like experimenting down the road. It is auto bias and you just pop them in.
Speakers for the Audion could be anything 90dB and above, in a small area, as it puts out 12 watts/side. The Audion gear also runs 4 ohm loads like a breeze which will broaden your speaker selection.
Synthesis from Italy makes a small integrated and matching CD player that is tiny but has killer sound. One of the Audiogon vendors Symphony Sound carries the line and I heard them at their showroom. They were nice guys give their site a look I believe they have pictures of the amp. Do not be fooled by the picture, the amp is much smaller in person.
Decware Zen integrated amp ($1500) www.decware.com
Loth-X BS-1 or used Epos 12 ($600) www.lothx.com
Cambridge 500SE or original Rega Planet ($400)
And enjoy all the music you will hear! And I mean all of it; unless you want a lot of bass energy these will get you boogeying down and loving it all, seriously!
The Planet is not stackable, so perhaps not appropriate.
I own Decware's amps, they are something special...low powered but extremely faithful to the source, more so than anything mentioned except the Berning (even lower powered).