what integrated and speakers?

Hi all im new here, got out of audio 5 yrs ago for many diff reasons i wont go into. here is my dilemma: i have not a lot of money, and need new system. a large 'chain store' has a deal with no interest financing for 3 yrs. they have the music hall mambo for 1300.00. i listened with klipsch rb5-11 and sounded good. they also have gallo, i would get the neucleus with passive sub. how does NADc320BEE compare with mambo? i will mainly be listening with a ipod mini hooked up with apples connector. i have no cd player just x box and ps2, could hook either one up to mambo by optical, but couldnt hook to NAD since no analog out on either xbox or ps2. eventually i might get a turntable also. i know neither amp has phone section i can add one later. i have heard great things about the 320BEE but not a lot about the mambo. does anyone have experience with either? if i get the mambo/klipsch or mambo/gallo i can finance with no money up front. if i get the nad at a diff erent store i will have to pay 400 cash, and get the speakers thru the chain store. i have owned a lot of tube integrateds in the past, i want tighter bass but not at the expense of being 'bright'. Also, the mambo has no pre out so how do i hook up the passive sub if i were to get the gallo passive? They say the mambo is class A but is it true class A? or is it push pull? single ended? Basically, i need your help. Also i have heard obviously about the epos for around 300 bucks, but would have to pay cash for those also. thanks for any advice you may have.
I think that you may be better off if you establish a budget for what you want to spend, as opposed to chasing a financing option. Given that, the NAD C320BEE is an excellent amp and more importantly an amp that you can grow with. You can start with an iPod and then move up to a very good CD player (like the Music Hall MMF CD25 which pairs very well with the NAD). If you want to add a turntable, unfortunately you would need to get a separate phono outboard, as the NAD does not have a phono input. At $400, the NAD is an absolute bargain. It may be entry level in price, but certainly not in performance.

I have had the NAD C320BEE for two years now and it is the one piece of equipment that I have had no second thoughts about buying. The amp never ceases to please me.

The Mambo is an excellent amp as well ... tank like build; oversized internal components; and it will give you the next level of refinement over the NAD. Is it worth an extra $900 more ... only your wallet can decide that. The Mambo sounds very good especially when paired with the Shanling/Music Hall/EPOS family of components, but at $1300 vs $400 and if money is an issue ... well, your decision.

As for speakers, if we are talking the NAD, ones that I have heard and liked and/or owned are the NHT SB2 ($400 list); Axiom M22ti ($400 list) ); Omega TS3 Standard ($400) ; EPOS ESL3 ($300). I ultimately sold the EPOS for the NHT, because the EPOS sounded a little bit boxy to me (admittedly though, how I had the EPOS placed was pretty criminal ... on top of a 6' bookcase, 8 inches apart) The Omega's intrique me a bit ... as they are a high efficiency; one speaker affair that the company owner actually uses with a NAD amp. I have my NAD paired with Acoustic Research 302 speakers ... 3 way, 10" woofer classic series from 1995. I am very pleased with these musical sounding speakers, but I have been so tempted to try the Omega Grande 6.

To sum up, you can get the NAD and some decent speakers for $700 to $800 total and they will give you some great music and hopefully, the upgrade bug will stay away.

Regards, Rich
Wow thanks Rich for your detailed response! I will take all that you said into consideration.

Thanks again,

I think you'll get a lot more mileage out of the NAD than you would another integrated amp. It's just an amazing unit for the money.

For speakers, I'm running a C320BEE with Vandersteen 1C speakers, and they really sing. You can find the 1C for roughly $500 here, and the older 1B for as low as 300. The 1B tends to be a little more forgiving and easier to listen to, thanks to a soft tweeter, while the 1C tends to be more accurate and revealing with a metal tweeter. Either would serve you well, I think.
Holla ...

One more thing ... without knowing how you feel about ordering equipment over the internet ... be sure to check out sites like ...

Upscale Audio ; Audio Advisor ; J&R Music ; Yawa On-Line ; HCM Audio ; Crutchfield Stereo for sales and closeouts.

I tend to prefer buying new, as opposed to used ... which is my thing and runs against some of the advice that you may get here ... which is OK too.

You may wind up with a different brand of stereo than you originally started out looking for, but there is a lot of pretty decent equipment out there. For example, if you can live with a HT receiver, J&R Music has the Onkyo SR502 (latest model) for $250 with free shipping or the SR601 for
$350 with free shipping. It is decent enough for music & movies ... not in the NAD's league ... but Onkyo has a well deserved reputation for build quality and providing excellent value for your money. For $600, give or take, you can get a set-up like the Onkyo SR502 and pair it with
a pair of Omega TS3 Standard's (they only use a few watts) or Axiom 22i's and be rocking and rolling. With the left over cash, you can pick up a decent inexpensive CD player like the Technics SLPG4 ($130 ... made in West Germany). As for cables start with Radio Shack Mega Cables or go to Signal Cable . There is no rule that you need a ton of cash to get good sounding music in the house.

Regards, Rich
Thanks all of you! I really appreciate all the input and suggestions. Music Rules!!