Are you looking for a entire system or just a analog source ?
Well, I wanted to see if it was possible to put together a system for $1K. There is no way to do this without buying used equipment IMO, so I searched for todays offerings both here on AG and of course Ebay.
I read from your post that you want to play Vinyl so a integrated with a decent phono stage is needed, the absolute first one that came to mind is the NAD 3020, had one of these many many years ago, luck was theres a very decent looking one on Ebay right now for $275.
Speakers are hard to suggest since I know nothing about your room size etc, but I think its safe to recommend the Pioneer bookshelf designed by Andrew Jones, they go for about $130 per pair. I heard these at a Show last year and thought they were exceptional for their asking price. I would like something with a little more bottom end extension, but there the budgetary restraints.
For a turntable I searched a few options, first I looked a Denon Direct drives like the good old DP57 and DP62, they must have become popular again because asking prices are on the rise. Also looked at a few Musichall tables but nothing to fit within the budget. I did find a nice old Pioneer table looked in nice condition, had been recently serviced and fits within budget $225
For a CD player i looked first at Oppo, but pricing took high, then searched here on Audiogon under CD players and a nice looking Emotiva popped up, don't know much about it but scanned a Stereophile review. Asking price is $325
So $955 later and heres a system you have $ 45 left for a spool of speaker wire and a pair of interconnects. With shipping charges you may run a little over budget.
NAD 3020 Integrated $275
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR $130
Pioneer PL 510A $225
Emotiva CD Player
Emotiva ERC2 CD player $325
Best of luck and let us know what you eventually end up with
After 40 + years of audiopiling , if was starting over I 'd buy a decent headphone amp , I can reccommend the Rega Ear which shows up on here for about $150, a used pr of Sennheiser
or AKG headphones and the best source I could get for whats left of a grand.
A 1K "can" system can, and usually does, sound better than a 10K speaker based system.
All jokes aside thats what I'm taking to the old folks home which might be any time now.
Wisdom from Schubert. It's a long journey, so take your time, enjoy the ride, and look to the future. The goal near term is to hear your records in something approaching excellent fidelity. With your budget, there's not room to make a long-term system that does everything and is also great sound. That's OK, because you've got to start somewhere, and there are great ways to start within your budget that also keep the longer term in mind. Try this idea:
Little Dot Mk. 2 tube headphone amplifier $140.00
Grado SR 80i headphones $100.00
Project Debut Carbon turntable with Ortofon cartridge $400.00
Cambridge Audio 651 phono preamplifier $225.00
Interconnects (2 sets) $100.00 (or less)
This plan is based on new prices. Used, you can do even better. When you have more thousands to spend, keep the headphone amplifier, headphones, turntable, and phono pre. These are all good sounding items and will likely hold you for a while. Add a decent integrated amplifier and loudspeakers.
I agree with Schubert that a headphone system provides great sound/dollar. I have a pair of AKG701s with headphone amp and they sound wonderful. Based on your post, I don't believe that is what you are looking for. Here goes one person's opinion on a speaker based system:
Marantz makes a great budget integrated amp. Look for the PM5004 or 6004. They both have phonostage. There is a new version out (the 5005, 6005 series) so the 04 series are discounted making them a great deal. Try Amazon or go to Music Direct online.
Project had the Debut III ($300) and the Debut Carbon($400), both complete with cartridge. Shipping TTs can be a problem when buying used online. Again try Music Direct or Needledoctor online.
The Pioneer SP22BS are a great deal for the $130 asking price. To do better would cost ~3x as much. There are many good speakers in the ~$350 -$500 range. I am hesitant to make a recommendation at that price point. The thing about speakers is that they contribute the most to the character of a system. When one is just starting out one usually is not sure of ones true preferences. My thinking here is to buy a quality budget pair, enjoy the music, explore the marketplace and upgrade speakers later and experience your system all over again. Same is true for headphones.
Just went through a major project reading up on latest and greatest headphones and related technologies and listening to various ones I could find access to.
In the end, I found the same old stand by lines to offer best sound and value IMHO. AKG, Sennheiser, and Audio Technica mainly.
Many others were OK but nothing special.
Like home audio, having a suitable amp to drive various models is a key, but does not take much to drive most phones well compared to speakers.
Audeze were nice but pricey. Hifiman offered a unique product for good value.
Grado, Polk, PSB, B&W, V-Moda, all OK, nothing special though better Grados can compete.
Would have liked to hear newer phones by Focal but no chance so far.
Stax still sound fantastic, but very pricey these days.
Lots of different aspects of comfort and features to help distinguish phones beyond ability to merely sound very good, which most decent phones do.
I have some suggestions.
VINTAGE is the only way you can do this, putting together an entire system with new components at those prices will be impossible or simply not worth it. I am assuming you have space, if not some things change adjust as you wish.
Klipsch Heritage (Any)...$300-$2000
think heresy for now
Dynaco A25...$50 dont pay much more
Mission Bookshelf $100-$400
JBL (rules = blue + old), but Shhhhhh its a secret
Heathkit AA 151...$100-$400 (buy new tubes)
this one is integrated and with phono section
The phono is not great but will do for a time
EIco HF XX ...$200-$600
This one is also integrated with phono, also buy new
Scott integrated 2xxx ....(more money)
Class T amp... $15-200 (yes $15 not $150)
If you speakers are efficient enough (i.e/ something
from the list that is 95db or more. Try a class T
amplifier like the dayton DTA-1 or a trends. It sounds
unbelievably good with high efficiency speakers. These
need an external phono
NAD...$100-$500 ( not my fav but also good integrated w/
phonos a lot of the time)
Cambridge...$20-$600 (also not my fav most of them are
integrated but no phono)
Marantz PM series $200-$1000 integrated with phono and
again not my fav.
Phono: (If Needed)
Buy an old receiver, OLD, make sure it has a good
phono section in it by reading on the google
machine. Then use this old trick. Plug the turntable
into it, and use the tape out, take the tape out into
your amp/integrated pre-section. BANG, you have a
phono stage many times better at handling RIAA than
the typical stand alone CRAP made today (in your
Thorens, think thorens...$50-$400
maybe the TD-160
Old technics 1200...$variable
This is the bad part, on the budget you have to stick to MM and perhaps used. the good news is there are tons of mediocre/mid fi carts that are much better than you would expect.
Grace f9...$do not know anymore but if you find one in decent condition BUY IT
Audio Technica 440 MLA...$cheap
Ortofon 2m Red ...$100 (new)
Sure M97...$100 (new)
Cables/Wire: DIY, think Mogami, Canare. Should be able to get off cheap if you DIY.
Do not buy one...just kidding.
PS1.....$10-50 (You can try a PS1 Model SCPH 1001, I dont listen to CDs much, but it is nice.)
Headphone out of you laptop running Jriver....$50 for software and the cost of the laptop is sunk. If you dont have a laptop, but one of those and forget audio, you will thank me for it.
that is the best I can do for about a Gee-Note. Depending on what combination you chose, the tubes used, condition and you ability to do some little tweaks. I think you can get a half way decent sound, provided that you dont mind having an eye sore in listening room. Good luck, I would love to see what you end up with and how you like it.
But do keep one thing in mind, this will ABSOLUTELY not be the last $1000 you spend on audio. This is the beginning of a slippery slope. The sickness has already set in, since you are posting this...and it may not be too late to run away now while your wallet is still full.
Best of luck with you new system. Enjoy!
Take a look at my Semi-Vintage office system. The total cost was higher than your $1,000 budget, but if you substitute a vintage integrated amp or receiver for the Roksan integrated you should be able to get something similar for less than $1,000. The total cost not including the Roksan was $906. You could spend a less on the retip and have $200 for a vintage integrated amp (Kenwood)
$357 Kenwood KD-500 Turntable incl. Premier MMT arm and cartridge.
Roksan Caspian INT Amplifier
$250 Sumiko Alchemist mkIII Cartridge
Stage 2 retip by Soundsmith, but you could get a Denon for less or retip for less.
$120 Rotel RQ-970bx Preamplifier
$179 Fried Products A/3 Monitor
Good luck with your system