1000 on separates & speakers - ideas? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : 1000 on separates & speakers - ideas?

07-15-2006, 04:04 AM
I'm in the market for a separates system with a budget of approx 1000. That seems to be pocket money to many of you here, but it will be the most I've spent on a system to date. What I will need is:

1) Integrated amplifier
2) DAB/FM tuner (extra bands welcome)
3) CD player
4) Pair of floor-standing speakers

I'm extremely anal when it comes to appearance, so I want the separates to be the same colour/finish, style and manufacturer. They need to be available in silver/titanium, as all-black won't go with the room. The speakers will need to be beech, maple or cherry to fit in with the furniture. The room this will go in is approx 28 x 12 feet.

I originally shortlisted the following combinations which can be had for 600 to 750, sparing the rest for interconnects and speakers in the league of the Acoustic Energy Aegis Evo 3: http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo-1.cfm/Product_ID/1278

The proposed combinations were:

Cambridge Audio Azur 640A V2 Integrated Amplifier
Cambridge Audio Azur 640T V2 DAB/FM tuner
Cambridge Audio Azur 640C V2 CD Player

Denon PMA-700AE Integrated Amplifier
Denon TU-1800DAB DAB/FM/AM Tuner
Denon DCD-700AE CD Player

Harman/Kardon HK 970 Integrated Amplifier
Harman/Kardon TU 970 DAB/FM/AM Tuner
Harman/Kardon HD 970 CD Player

Marantz PM4001OSE Integrated Amplifier
Marantz ST7001 DAB/FM/AM Tuner
Marantz CD5001OSE CD Player

NAD C325BEE Integrated Amplifier
NAD C445 DAB/FM/AM Tuner
NAD C521BEE CD Player

However, after putting this conundrum up in another forum, most people responded in saying that I would be better off spending a small amount of money on the separates (<400) and the balance on a much better set of speakers.

One person even suggested the Acoustis Solutions setup for 230 from Argos.

Acoustic Solutions SP101 Integrated Amplifier
Acoustic Solutions SP111 DAB/FM Tuner
Acoustic Solutions SP122 CD Player

Anyone have any thoughts on my conundrum? I get the feeling that the Acoustic Solutions SP101 amp just won't do a more expensive pair of floorstanders like the B&W DM603 any justice. http://www.hifix.co.uk/shop.lasso?shop=B-W

If I spend up to 600 on a pair of floorstanders, then maybe 360 on the Cambridge Audio Classic series might seem a more viable option:

Cambridge Audio Classic A5 Integrated Amplifier (120) http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=CAMB-A5-SIL
Cambridge Audio Classic D100 CD Player (120) http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=CAMB-D100-SIL
Cambridge Audio Classic DAB300 Tuner (120)

As an outside thought I was considering replacing the CD player in my proposed setup for a hard disk player. There are a few problems with the ones I know of:

Acoustic Solutions SP150 (200). http://www.acousticsolutions.net/product.asp?ID=208 Lacks connectivity, appears a little cheap, small hard disk means compression, and would mean buying the rest of an Acoustic Solutions setup. http://www.acousticsolutions.net/catlist.asp?Cat=Separates

Cambridge Audio Azur 640H (600). http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?PID=39&Title=Azur+640H Expensive, amounting to 1300 with the 640A V2 and the 640T V2.

Yamaha CDR-HD1500 (500). http://www.yamaha-uk.com/hifi_components/?product_id=111 Great piece of kit, but Yamaha seem to be distinctly lacking in other silver/titanium audio separates. One of these might go well with a Yamaha A/V Receiver with DAB/FM, but I would expect the stereo amplifying quality to be worse than with standalone stereo separates. http://www.yamaha-uk.com/av_amps_receivers/?product_id=128

Are there any more available hard disk options?

Any help on the above would be gratefully received.


07-15-2006, 10:23 AM
I had a couple of thoughts. The Cambridge 640 V2 group you show might be the best in the bunch IMO but leaves only about 300 for a pair of floorstanders. Might take a hit on quality there. If you went up to around 600 for the speakers then you might be looking at Axion M80. Very favorable reviews here and elsewhere. and good exchange rate for you. If you wanted to stay with 1000 limit then the Cmbridge Classic with Axiom M60 floorstanders might be the trick. The finishes might not be furniture grade but the colors might be right for you. cheers i guess.

07-16-2006, 02:32 AM
rotel rb06 cd player
rotel rc02 pre amp
rotel rb03 stereo power amp
wharfedale 9.1 (this is a bookshelf)

a better one would be paradigm studio 20V3 but you need to stretch your budget.

from among the choices you have, id go for the CA combo.

07-16-2006, 04:37 AM
I would get the Cambridge set, leave the tuner for now and get a pair of speakers I'd think are the best after auditioning. Then save up a bit and buy the tuner (used from ebay?) later. You could save on the cd player as well by getting a 540C or 340C and spend that on speakers. The speakers should outlast the cd-player by far, and have more impact on audio quality.

I don't think the wharfedale 9.1 is a speaker he's looking for, try b&w dm603 or dali concept 6..

For hard disk music just use a pc that you already have.

07-16-2006, 12:04 PM
I agree with the previous recommendation for the Warfedales. If you can't afford a mid level floorstander , then you are much better off with a pair of bookshelf speakers presented on attractive stands. Its been said here and many other places that unles you spend some serious money on a good floorstander, they run the risk of sounding box-like. I've heard 5,000 (us) floorstanders that sounded like a wood box with speakers. On the other hand I'v heard relatively inexpensive bookshelves (Paradigm) that sounded as big as my Gallo floorstanders. If you really ned a budget floorstander, then research those that are considered overperformers, which why I recommended the Axiom.

01-19-2008, 09:04 PM
I dont know if you have ordered your new system yet but I recently purchased the Cambridge 640 v2 and a NAD 525 BEE CD player- and I can highly reccomend both !


Russ DeJulio
Pittsburgh PA

01-19-2008, 11:24 PM
Forget the tuner like stated previously and spend the money on better speakers. Get the tuner later. Also, if you can swing it, get the cambridge 740c CDP, its awesome. I'd go with the Cambridge, or HK amplifiers due to their hight power ratings . Any of those amps look good on paper. The HK is nice because of its peak 75amp current. I would match any of those amps with the 740c cdp. However, if it came down to a choice between better speakers of the 640c and 740c, go with the better speaks. Don't be hell bent on having all your equiopment with matching brands. I'd probably take the 2 cambridge CDP's over the other brands. The cambridge equipment will give you a slightly brighter more open sound and the NAD will give you a slightly warmer presentation.

audio amateur
01-20-2008, 04:34 AM
check out ebay.co.uk, you won't regret it

01-20-2008, 08:51 AM
There are one box solutions to be had by Music Hall and ARCAM, but that'll not leave you much for future upgrade.

I know that you havent even considered them, but just letting you know that you probably shouldnt go that route.

Best Wishes,

01-20-2008, 09:00 AM
Umm Guys, this thread is from July of 2006... I suspect the person has already purchased a setup by now.... :)

audio amateur
01-20-2008, 09:26 AM
lol who the heck dug it up. Russ... hmm hmm how did you fall on this?

01-20-2008, 10:30 AM
:rolleyes5: :eek6: